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Old 01-21-2010, 12:52 PM   #13
skip spence
shadow of a doubt
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skip spence is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.skip spence is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Originally Posted by Pitchwife View Post
That would be Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth (in HoME X indeed)
Yeah that's the one. It's been years since I read it but the way I remember it the text really underlined the feeling I get that Eru is a very close approximation to the Christian God. And although there's little religious practice in LotR, there certainly is a deeply religious undertone in the book. I think it is expressed explicitly in Athrabeth that you gotta have faith that Eru in the end won't allow Morgoth or Sauron to prevail. This is the most important moral test. Eru is the One, it is his world, and eventually, finally, everything will be fine and dandy, because He is Good and He wants what's Good.

This is why Gandalf and Elrond makes the decision to send the ring into Mordor with Frodo, isn't it? They are wise, and their wisdom lies in the faith that it will succeed, it must succeed. Rationally they doubt that it will work, because logically it really is a stupid idea, but their hearts tell them it will work nevertheless. I've heard people gasp "how come Sauron is so dumb, never guessing what his enemies plan to do with the ring!" but I don't see it that way. Sauron is a sort of atheist (I know it sound weird but think about it!) and moral-relativist. He does not understand faith and therefore, the way he sees things, sending a halfling on a suicide mission into Mordor is too far out to even consider. And I can see why.

Originally Posted by Legate
Once again one has to ask, if you ask "Why do you think it is?" are you asking "inside" or "outside"?
True, and in this instance I am more interested in the "outside" perspective, because from an inside perspective this lack of religion and religious diversity makes little sense imo, unless we surmise that the peoples really did practice various religions but that this is omitted in the narrative. So why did Tolkien write it like this then? I've ideas that resemble some of what has been written here already, but they have to wait a bit, no more time now...

Originally Posted by Legate
Well, but are the statues not just portrayal of the Pukel-Men themselves? At least as far as I know - the tale of Aghan the Drugh was about "magic" of the statues, I would say, that was a sort of "Golem", but otherwise I think the statues didn't have any religious connotations, not any more than some random statue of Elendil or whatever?
Yeah, but is the power of the statues derived only from their makers ? From an anthropological standpoint I find that rather hard to believe. And the way say the Chinese worship their ancestors is a religious practice of sorts to, isn't it?
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