J.R.R. Tolkien's Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle Earth (Paperback)
Peter Jackson's film version of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy - and the accompanying Rings-related paraphernalia and publicity - has played a unique role in the disemmination of Tolkien's imaginative creation to the masses. Yet, for most readers and viewers, the underlying meaning of Middle-earth has remained obscure. Bradley Birzer has remedied that with this fresh study. In J.R.R. Tolkien's Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle-earth, Birzer reveals the surprisingly specific religious symbolism that permeates Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. He also explores the social and political views that motivated the Oxford don, ultimately situating Tolkien within the Christian humanist tradition represented by Thomas More and T.S. Eliot, Dante and C.S. Lewis. Birzer argues that through the genre of myth Tolkien created a world that is essentially truer than the one we think we see around us everyday, a world that transcends the colorless disenchantment of our postmodern age.
Bradley J. Birzer holds the Russell Amos Kirk Chair in History at Hillsdale College. The author or editor of four other books, he has written and taught extensively on the American experience. Birzer also serves as chairman of the board of academic advisors for the Center for the American Idea in Houston and as a nonresident fellow for the McConnell Center, University of Louisville. He and his family live in Michigan.