Thursday, February 02, 2006

Tolkien & Temptation

From a new article at IgnatiusInsight.com about Tolkien, temptation, and the "unquenchable thirst for knowledge":
What separates Tolkien’s work from other narratives, especially those inspired by his prose, is the rich profundity and dexterity with which he wove his tapestry. Recent scholarship has shown the interconnectedness of Tolkien’s writing to the vaunted schools of ancient philosophy, specifically those of ancient Greece. However, there exists in The Lord of the Rings a subtle yet quite detectable call to the thought of the medieval philosopher St. Augustine. This call is particularly resonant today, an age where there appears to prevail an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Augustine, as a student of the ancients (in particular of Plato), knew well that knowledge was not synonymous with wisdom. Often, the quest for the former entailed the preclusion of the latter.
-- Dr. Jose Yulo, "The Temptation of the Earthly City: Tolkien's Augustinian Vision" at IgnatiusInsight.com; Feb 1, 2006

2 comments:

Eliyahu Dobner said...

The article has a good point...
Augustine's influence on Tolkien can be felt very strongly, especially in the Ainulindale, but really in all of his fiction if you look beneath the surface...

Chestertonian Rambler said...

Although I'm beginning to wonder if you can have a truly Christian philosophy without being "Augustinian," at least in some ways.

(But then one of my favorite authors is C.S. Lewis, a dyed-in-the-wool Augustinian if ever there was one.)