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This is the kind of book that changes how you think and who you are It s philosophy written brilliantly and illustrated by Tolkien s masterpieces Every page will set of a new train of thought and by far the most of those will be highly profitable as well as stimulating There are, however, a few odd things taught Some of these are due to Lewis s influence on the writer but then most of the best thoughts in the book are due to Lewis as much as Tolkien Others are due to the fact that the author is a Roman Catholic.Absolutely loved it. The book started with a great promise to me A discussion about Tolkien s philosophy, which is certainly not in line with today s popular worldview and values But the book quickly descended into a Christian and Catholic empty propaganda The writer apparently wrote this book not in order to discuss and think about Tolkien and his worldview, but rather to proselytize his own Catholic faith I would have expected a philosophy book to raisequestions than answers here the exclamation marks rule.Mid way the book gets really repetitive with the same themes repeating over and over In some instances, even the same quotes were quoted again But yet again, when your goal is to preach, repetition is necessary. Peter J Kreeft s The Philosophy of Tolkien is a really good book While he uses this text to reaffirm his own belief in a Christian god, and these elves are not really Christian, we feel certain that his conclusions are an accurate reflection of Tolkien s own beliefs, for he was a Catholic Often, it seems to these elves that Mr Kreeft while appearing to use logic and reason for his affirmation of his Christian beliefs actually, at the last moment, does a sort of intellectual slight of hand and ends up with faith rather than fact for his final assertions However, that doesn t bother us at all Being lovers of Tolkien s works and having an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Religion we find this book quite well written and intriguing, even if it is not always logical But then, we are elves and Mr Kreeft is clearly, like Tolkien, a hobbit and our worldviews tend to be different Still, we know that in sharing Middle Earth with these hobbits we are dealing with good, decent folk, and really whatcan one ask for The Silver Elves authors of Faerie Unfolding The Cosmic Expression of the Divine. Peter Kreeft has blown my mind with his book on Philosophy within Tolkien s works and personal letters For someone who is not well versed in the terminology of philosophy, this book served to be both a fabulous and understandable explanation of what philosophy is, and a deep dwelling on how philosophy impacts the world.The way that Kreeft highlights certain aspects of the Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Similarion, blew me away I could not put my finger on what drew me deeper into those books until the deeper meanings were laid out for me The book has inspired me to delve deeper into Tolkien s works, and also the film adaptations of those works.I would recommend this book to anybody who would like to know about philosophy OR would like to knowabout Tolkien s world I also recommend this book as an academic meditation on the Life of Christ.Spoiler alert Tolkien was a Catholic and the Lord of the Rings is a Catholic book even though it is not an allegory.This review may be found at OurLadyandSheen.wordpress.com Like Socrates, Buddha, and Lao Tzu, Frodo did not see Christ, yet somehow beloved In the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing, there was light and beauty for ever beyond its reach J R R Tolkien, Lord of the Rings as quoted in The Philosophy of Tolkien I thought this book would examine Tolkien s work through a philosophical lens, but instead it was a device for the author to espouse his philosophical, political, and religious old school conservative catholic bemoaning big government for ignoring family, traditions, and the sanctity of life views through the use of a fantasy book which the author purports represents the truth The book is supported by ample evidence supporting this conceit as Tolkein believed fairy tails served this function and thought LOTR did as well Throughout the book the author spoke definitively about Christian tenets as if they are verified facts and denounces rationalism and the scientific method This is not a fair criticism as the Peter J Kreeft is a heralded Christian author Anyway, this is not exactly what I signed up for This book was actually given to me by my conservative, traditional, and devoutly Catholic friend, and I can see why he enjoyed it However, the author makes a convincing argument that LOTR is a fantasy novel doused in Christian values and ideals A lot of people would find this idea preposterous, but Tolkein was a devout Catholic and although he is not as religiously explicit as his contemporary, C.S Lewis, I m certain his faith influenced his writing to a great degree I mean he did refer to LOTR as a Catholic book. Where do I start In writing this book, Kreeft is intellectually dishonest, dismissive, and condescending, and he demonstrates exceedingly poor scholarship Normally I d keep a negative review like this to myself, but because Kreeft is a public figure and this is a book that people are likely to read and be influenced by in part because of Kreeft s position as a professor of philosophy at a notable college , I feel like it s important to add this review to the list Strap inMy criticisms First, the premise of the book is intellectually dishonest This is not a philosophy of Tokien It is the theology of Kreeft He does not present things as what Tokien believed , but rather presents certain claims as true and uses LOTR to prove the truth of those claims It s ludicrous Fiction doesn t demonstrate it illustrates And it doesn t illustrate truths but beliefs While there is certainly a worldview of LOTR, and while Kreeft does make assumptions that Tokien certainly shared the assumptions of Christianity, mostly , LOTR is not a Christian world Christianity was an influence, but Kreeft uses LOTR to demonstrate his own beliefs If he were honestly trying to demonstrate the worldview of LOTR, he would have analyzed LOTR much, muchdeeply and intricately We get farof Kreeft s opinion than of an LOTR analysis.Secondly, the use of the word philosophy in the title drives me bonkers This is a theology Kreeft uses philosophical fields and themes to examine Tokien s theology philosophy is a tool he uses to make theological arguments Thirdly, the tone DEAR HEAVENS, THE TONE Kreeft dismisses every philosophical position that conflicts with his own There is no room in his presentation for the validity of other interpretations of things that we cannot know for certain I am all for holding opinions, even of opinions that can t be proven such is life , but this was incredibly off putting and egregious, especially for a professor of philosophy Finally, Kreeft relies very heavily on C.S Lewis s theology to argue for Tokien s In some ways, this makes sense Lewis wrote fartheological apologetic works than Tokien, and the two were good friends and fellow Christians surely they shared some big, overarching beliefs But Lewis featured so prominently, and primarily in defense of Kreeft s stated opinions, that Tokien was lost farthan he was found in those passages Ok, after all that negative, I do have a positive It will sound passive aggressive, but I mean it sincerely Encountering different arguments, even poor ones, for claims to truth is helpful and good It sparks new ways of arguing for what is real, true, and logical It forces us to clarify arguments in new and slightly different ways, which leads us to make better arguments or to modify our beliefs if we come up with something we can t explain or argue well for It also makes us better at communicating with people we disagree with Kreeft s rhetorical style is not one that honestly engages with truth, but only with established, personal, and biased opinions That in itself is an important style to learn to identify I am absolutely shocked that Kreeft is a professor of philosophy at such a reputable college His utter disdain for the field should be disqualifying I would be interested in hearing his actual philosophical arguments and engaging with them on an intellectually honest level, but Kreeft does not provide that opportunity in this book This book offered so much on the title and delivered almost nothing substantive Such a disappointment. A nice little book that could serve as an introduction to philosophy On the whole, I think that reading this prior to rereading Tolkien s works will greatly enhance my understanding of the depth of the author s work If nothing else, it has increased my motivation to revisit Tolkien s works If I have one criticism of the book it is that Kreeft leans a little too heavily on his citations of C.S Lewis In the introduction to the book he references the fact that G.K Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc were so close, in personal friendship, in philosophical and religious beliefthat they were called the Chesterbelloc monster We could with equal reason speak of the Tolkienlewis monster Don t get me wrong, I think that Kreeft s premise is not without merit, but I still think that he pushed this a bit too far by citing Lewis so frequently The citations are wonderful and I feel greatly aided by Kreeft s commentary on them, but there is something about this approach that still irks me a little.Still, I recommend this book, especially if you are preparing for a philosophy or literature course or if you want a better understanding of the masterpiece that is The Lord of the Rings. An interesting book which offers a different lense to Tolkien s view This book doesn t specifically talk about LOTR per se meaning it s not a direct complimentary book to LOTR , but it does offer nuggets of novel insights to approaching the characters of Tolkien and the world and environment in which he created and how these 2 components tie back to theology and philosophy.5 stars for me as I have always been a big fan of Kreeft and I love how he writes with utter clarity without sacrificing the beautifully woven prose into the pages LOTR also has a deep place in my heart and as such, its no surprise I actually enjoyed this book This book has been on my reading wish list since it came out a few years ago I finally made time to read it, and I m so glad I did As Kreeft a Roman Catholic theologian and a professor of philosophy at Boston University points out in the introduction, The Lord of the Rings is widely considered the greatest book of the twentieth century, though not all literary critics agree Of course, I would certainly have to join the ranks of those showering accolades upon Tolkien s masterpiece This book is exactly what you might expect from its title a study of the philosophical themes and underlying worldview behind the story of LOTR Many authors have attempted similar books seeking to cash in on the story s popularity, but few have done it well Thankfully, Kreeft has given us an outstanding work that is both educational and enjoyable academically substantial yet easily accessible At times, his wit and humor even had me laughing out loud The format of the book is simple Fifty philosophical questions are separated into 13 categories Kreeft explains the meaning and importance of each question, and then shows how the question is answered using quotes from LOTR, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion Tolkien s thoughts on the matter are further explored, making use of his other writings most notably letters he had written, as well as an essay entitled On Fairy Stories Each question s section ends with a quote from the writings of C.S Lewis Tolkien s closest friend and fellow Oxford professor which directly states the same philosophy The two had great influence on one another, and throughout this book we see how closely they paralleled one another due to what Kreeft calls their common familiarity with and respect for the same sources in the great tradition, that is, pre modern Western literature, philosophy, and religion As someone not particularly well versed in the academic field of philosophy, I enjoyed very much this foray into the method of investigating philosophical issues Indeed, an introduction to philosophy is one of the four uses of this book suggested by its author, though that is not the reason I initially chose to read it Still, while some of the questions asked in this book are particular to LOTR, most are broad in scope, and could be applied to any religion, cultural artifact, or work of literature At many points in the book, Tolkien s views are compared and contrasted with those of history s great philosophers, from Plato to Satre to Nietzsche.Kreeft s logic is impeccable, and the systematic progression of thought in this book presents a very strong case for his conclusions Though I do not wish to spoil for you the joy of discovering these conclusions for yourself as you read through this book, I feel it won t be giving too much away to say that Kreeft concludes that Tolkien s philosophy is unabashedly Christian, and specifically Catholic something Tolkien himself has claimed in so many words While Christ or religion itself, for that matter is nowhere explicit in the text of LOTR, Christianity is implicit throughout the story in the philosophical worldview which undergirds it.I nearly wore out the pen I was using to underline memorable and thought provoking lines from the book Time does not allow me to share all of the truly great insights Kreeft provides, but there was one thing that especially caught my interest This was where Kreeft pointed out Tolkien s portrayal of the Old Testament pre figuring of the Messiah as prophet, priest, and king, represented by Gandalf, Frodo, and Aragorn, respectively Not allegorically, of course, but in the sense that each of those characters was something of a Christ figure down to the fact that all three had apparent deaths and resurrections in LOTR , exemplifying lives of self sacrifice and virtue, albeit in very different manners.If you are a fan of The Lord of the Rings, you will greatly enjoy and benefit from this book It will give you a brand new understanding of what may well be your favorite story not to mention an itch to read the trilogy again Now where did I put my copy of The Fellowship of the Ring ^E-PUB ⇰ The Philosophy of Tolkien: The Worldview Behind The Lord of the Rings ↶ While Nothing Can Equal Or Replace The Adventure In Reading Tolkien S Masterwork, The Lord Of The Rings, Peter Kreeft Says That The Journey Into Its Underlying Philosophy Can Be Another Exhilarating AdventureThus, Kreeft Takes The Reader On A Voyage Of Discovery Into The Philosophical Bones Of Middle Earth He Organizes The Philosophical Themes In The Lord Of The Rings IntoCategories, Accompanied By Over , References To The Text Of LordSince Many Of The Great Questions Of Philosophy Are Included In TheTheme Outline, This Book Can Also Be Read As An Engaging Introduction To Philosophy For Each Of The Philosophical Topics In Lord, Kreeft Presents Tools By Which They Can Be Understood Illustrated