The Christian World of The Hobbit — by Devin Brown

The Christian World of The Hobbit — by Devin Brown

Christian Elements in The Hobbit            

J.R.R. Tolkien’s book The Hobbit  published in 1937  for years was frequently purported to be allegory.    Critics aligned his characters with Hitler and Communism.   Tolkien always denied the allegations.  Author Devin Brown says, “Tolkien’s works are fundamentally Christian.  They are not Christian allegory.”

The author reminds us that Tolkien was a devout Christian.  His deep faith, while never overtly expressed, is always perceived in his writing.   Often you  will find the word ‘luck’  in The Hobbit .  “Luck of an unusual kind.”  The characters connect to one another and to Middle-earth, but also to something beyond Middle-earth… providence.  The author explores how he themes of providence, purpose and moral landscape are glimpsed over and over in The Hobbit, helping the reader see these Christian elements that may have been overlooked in previous readings of the book.

Time and again Bilbo is faced with difficult choices:  right or wrong, good or evil.  Tolkien created a moral universe in Middle-earth, one that gives the reader hope.  He delivers a message of the danger of greed in The Hobbit, a theme repeated many times in the New Testament.

If you are a Tolkien fan, you’ll enjoy this book .  If you’ve never read Tolkien, this book reveals what you’ve missed.  I found this book a treasure and plan to reread The Hobbit once again with an expanded perspective.

Reviewed by Merry Van Deusen


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