Now a blockbuster motion picture trilogy, J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is one of the greatest works of literature of the twentieth century. Despite its familiarity to many, few people grasp the religious ideas that lie behind this extraordinary story.
In this lively commentary on Tolkien’s grand epic, Fleming Rutledge returns to Middle-earth to illustrate and celebrate the deeper meaning of the action. Both instructive in purpose and entertaining to read, The Battle for Middle-earth brings forth the hidden allusions behind events and scenes in Tolkien’s saga.
Rutledge’s unique interpretation of The Lord of the Rings sees Tolkien’s religiosity carried by the entire narrative and not just in isolated themes, characters, incidents, or motifs. Rutledge insightfully shows how Tolkien works religious ideas into the story itself, just below the surface. He is concerned for the meaning of human freedom, and many of his characters wrestle with the potential for abusing power that lies within us all. At its profoundest level, The Lord of the Rings communicates a powerful vision of an unseen divine design at work in earthly events and through flawed people, moving ever toward its goal of redemption.
While effortlessly blending theology and biblical imagery into her discussion, Rutledge writes as an enthusiastic and admiring reader, mindful of the story’s beauty, poetry, and life. The result is an exciting, smart, even fun book that will thrill Tolkien fans everywhere.