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Is "The Hobbit" a Christian Allegory?

Alex Crain
Alex Crain

At age 45, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien had the audacity to launch an entirely new epic tradition.

It succeeded.

Now, 75 years after The Hobbit first appeared in 1937, Tolkien’s creation continues to grow in popularity. Film director, Peter Jackson, will launch his second trilogy of movies based on the Middle-Earth epic with The Hobbit this Friday.

Tolkien’s Christian worldview and the spiritual themes in The Hobbit have been of interest to both fans and critics in each generation. Speculations about the moral and spiritual truths therein have been discussed and debated time and again. Christian youth groups and book clubs ponder study questions like:

  • Is The Hobbit a Christian allegory?
  • Is it an anti-war book?
  • How did Tolkien’s faith influence his writing?
  • How is the gospel seen in The Hobbit?
  • Did faith-related elements in Tolkien's books translate well to film, or were they obscured?

This week, we'll hear experts such as notable Oxford scholar, Dr. Michael Ward, answer these and other similar questions in our interviews on The Hobbit and its famous author.

Look for these to be posted soon here at Christianity.com and on our sister site, Crosswalk.com.

In the meantime, let's hear your thoughts on the questions above. What other questions might you ask about The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and J.R.R. Tolkien? 

Originally published December 10, 2012.

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