A. Y. Morozov, Doctor of Philosophical Science, Assosiate Professor
Kiev National University of Trade and Economics
19 Kioto Street, Kyiv, 02156, Ukraine
MORAL AND RELIGIOUS MOTIVES IN THE WORKS OF J.R.R. TOLKIEN: CULTURAL CONTEXT
The main moral and religious themes of J. Tolkien`s novels “The Lord of rings” and “The Silmarillion” are observed in the article. It is analyzed that Tolkien followed Christian tradition, sharing st. Augustine`s conception of evil as the absence of good. It is clarified Tolkien`s anti-Nietzschean position where evil is equal to the will to power, while the good is associated with humility and serving. It is shown an author`s interpretation of Socratic classic inquiry: would people live virtuous life if they achieve omnipotence and why moral life is preferable than immoral one. According to Tolkien, human moral obligations are closely connected with the awareness of freedom and mortality which are regarded as a giftto a man, enabling to escape from senseless “badinfinity” (Hegel) of material determinant existence. In its turn, a notion of “gift” refersto metaphysical model of world that assumes divine being and his providential intervention in the course of earthly history. One of this divine providence`s manifestation is so called “eucatastrophe”, unexpected salvation from tragedy, therapeutic consolation that returns to a man the feeling of meaningfulness and joy of being. It is suggested thatsalvation can be interpreted in romantic way as coincidence point of trajectories of art and nature, where fairy tale embodies in life, and life starts to be built according to the laws of fairy tale.
Keywords: virtue, evil as absence of good,will to power, death as a gift, providence, salvation.
1. Caldecott, S. (2003) A Secret Fire. The Spiritual Vision Behind Tolkien. Chicago, Darton Longman and Todd Ltd.
2. Carpenter, Humphrey, Tolkien, Christopher, eds. (1981) The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien. London, George Allen & Unwin.
3. Nietzsche, F. (1924) The Joyful Wisdom. New-York. Retrieved from https://archive.org/details/completenietasch10nietuoft
4. Nietzsche, F. (1931) The Genealogy of Morals. New-York, Retrieved from https://archive.org/stream/genealogyofmoral
5. Nietzsche, F. The Antichrist. Retrieved from https://archive.org/details/theantichrist19322gut
6. Plato. (2008) The Republic. London.
7. Purtill, R. (2003) J. R. R. Tolkien: Myth, Morality and Religion. New-York, Ignatius press.
8. Saint Augustine (Bishop of Hippo.) (2006). Confessions. Hackett Publishing.
9. The Lord of Rings and Philosophy, edited by Gregory Bassham and Eric Bronson (2003). Oxford, Carus Publishing company.
10. Tolkien, J. R. R. (1977) The Lord of the Rings. London, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
11. Tolkien, J. R. R. (1977) The Silmarillion. London, Allen and Unwin.
12. Tolkien, J. R. R. (1983) The Monsters and the Critics, and Other Essays. Houghton Mifflin.
Corresponding author: A.Y.Morozov
Copyright © 2017 Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv University Publishing