What forms can religious experience take in a world without cult or creed? Organized religion is notably absent from J. R. R. Tolkien's Secondary Universe despite author's own Catholic faith. Contributors to Light beyond All Shadows probe both the mind of the maker and the world he made. These essays examine the full sweep of Tolkien's legendarium plus Peter Jackson's film trilogy. They propose that Tolkien's Catholic imagination was shaped by his iconography, its meditative techniques, and St. Philip Neri's 'Mediterranean' style of Catholicism. They identify Tolkien's Biblical typology and broader mythic resonances. They defend his work as neither occult nor Manichaean and analyze the Inklings as supportive friends. They show that within Tolkien's world, water, music, poetry and the life-giving Feminine point towards transcendence. Light stands for sub-creation, the power diffusing from Deity. Light beyond All Shadows aids appreciation of what is real, meaningful, and truthful in Tolkien's work.
Paul E. Kerry is an associate professor of history at Brigham Young University, research associate at Corpus Christi College and visiting fellow at the Woolf Institute, Cambridge. Sandra Miesel holds mastersO degrees in biochemistry and medieval history from the University of Illinois. She is the co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax: Exposing the Errors in The Da Vinci Code and has written numerous articles for the Catholic press.
1 Preface 2 Acknowledgements Chapter 3 Introduction: Exploring Tolkien's Universe Chapter 4 Water, Ecology, and Spirituality in Tolkien's Middle-Earth Chapter 5 Divine Contagion-On the Nature in The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings Chapter 6 Reflections of Christendom in the Mythopoeic Iconography of Middle-Earth Chapter 7 The Biblical Structure of The Lord of the Rings Chapter 8 Ymagynatyf and J.R.R. Tolkien's Roman Catholicism, Catholic Theology, Religion in The Lord of the Rings Chapter 9 I am the Song, Music, Poetry, and the Transcendental in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth Chapter 10 Tolkien: Lord of the Occult? Chapter 11 The Fantastic Secret of Tolkien's Fairy Tales: Literature and Jesuit Spiritual Exercises Chapter 12 Life-Giving Ladies: Women in the Writings of J.R.R. Tolkien Chapter 13 Where two or three are gathered: Tolkien and the Inklings Chapter 14 Peter Jackson, Evil, and the Temptation of Films at the Cracks of Doom Chapter 15 Songs of Innocence and Experience, or, What Remains of Tolkien's "Catholic" Tale in Jackson's The Lord of Rings 16 Bibliography 17 Biographical Entries