The Power of the Ring: The Spiritual Vision Behind the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit (Paperback)
Digging deep into J. R. R. Tolkien’s spiritual biography—his religious scholarship and his love of both Christian and pagan myth—Stratford Caldecott offers a critical study of how the acclaimed author effectively created a vivid Middle Earth using the familiar rites and ceremonies of human history. And while readers and moviegoers alike may appreciate the fantasy world of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, few know that in life, Tolkien was a devout Roman Catholic and that the characters, the events, and the general morality of each novel are informed by the dogmas of his faith. Revised and updated, this acclaimed study of Tolkien’s achievement—previously released as Secret Fire in the UK—includes commentary on Peter Jackson’s film adaptations and explores many of the fascinating stories and letters published after Tolkien’s death.
About the Author
Stratford Caldecott is the director of the Centre for Faith and Culture in Oxford, England, and the author of All Things Made New, Beauty for Truth’s Sake, and Beauty in the Word.
"A superb book that blends academic rigor with a clear passion for the subject." —Christian Marketplace
"Caldecott's work is a delight to read, with fascinating insights on nearly every page as he discusses the riches of Tolkien's work." —The Sower
"This book will be welcomed by those interested in the deep theological underpinnings of Tolkien's works, and is recommended to academic libraries supporting upper level coursework on Tolkien or religion and literature." —Daniel Boice, Catholic Library World
" [...] Caldecott examines and elucidates the underlying Christian aspect of Tolkien’s symbolism within his fantastical universe. A thoughtful reader with no religious background will learn much about the complexity of Tolkien’s fictitious universe [...] The trilogy is much more than a whimsical fairyland; behind it lies a profound knowledge of ancient mythopoeic tradition, baptized by a Catholic imagination." —Francis Phillips, The Catholic Herald