Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/11594
Tolkien & Lewis. How Tolkien and Lewis present their religion in their writings
Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia are two classics in the fantasy genre profoundly influenced by the Christian religion. The two authors were differently brought up in the Christian faith. Lewis had a rather dull Christian upbringing which resulted in his conversion to atheism. Tolkien lost his mother as a young boy. He blamed the religious oppression resulting from his mother´s conversion to Catholicism for her death. This made Tolkien into a devout Catholic. Later in their lives, when both had become professors in Oxford, Lewis converted back to Christianity. Lewis’s conversion had largely to do with his friendship with Tolkien and their conversation about Christianity and myths.
Their different approaches to the Christian religion influenced how they expressed it. After Tolkien lost his mother, his religion was mostly kept to himself and his closest acquaintances. Although his work The Lord of the Rings is influenced by his religion, it is hidden and unclear.
After Lewis’s conversion back to Christianity he became a famous apologist of the Christian faith. His novels The Chronicles of Narnia reveal clearly Christian doctrine. This will be evident as we take a look at the characters in Narnia and their connection to Biblical Characters. We will also see that characters in The Lord of the Rings are also influenced by characters in The Bible.
It will also be evident that Tolkien’s characters are influenced, rather than purposely crafted to fit, biblical roles as in the case of characters in Narnia. This is done by Lewis as he wanted the reader to experience biblical doctrine, while Tolkien wanted no clear references to his religion in his trilogy.