The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy

From Tolkien Gateway
The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy: One Book to Rule Them All
Authoredited by Gregory Bassham and Eric Bronson
PublisherOpen Court Publishing Co, U.S.
ReleasedAugust 4, 2003
FormatPaperback (22.6 x 15.2 x 1.5 cm)

The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy: One Book to Rule Them All is a collection of articles written by philosophy professors on J.R.R. Tolkien and his works, published in the series Popular Culture and Philosophy.

From the publisher

"The Lord of the Rings" is intended to be applicable to the real world of relationships, religion, pleasure, pain and politics. Tolkien himself said that his grand tale of wizards, orcs, hobbits and elves was aimed at truth and good morals in the actual world. Analysis of the popular appeal of "The Lord of the Rings" shows that Tolkien fans are hungry for discussion of the urgent moral and cosmological issues arising out of this epic story. Can political power be wielded for good, or must it always corrupt? Does technology destroy the truly human? Is it morally wrong to give up hope? Can we find meaning in chance events? In this volume, 17 young philosophy professors all of then ardent Tolkien fans address some of the issues and show how clues to their solutions may be found in the imaginary world of Middle-earth. The book is divided into five sections, concerned with: the power and the Ring, the quest for happiness, good and evil in Middle Earth, time and mortality and philosophical questions and fairytale endings.

Contents (incomplete)

  • "'My Precious': Tolkien's Fetishized Ring" (by Alison Milbank)
  • "Überhobbits: Tolkien, Nietzsche, and the Will to Power" (by Douglas K. Blount)
  • "Happy Endings and Religious Hope: The Lord of the Rings as an Epic Fairy Tale" (by John J. Davenport)