Meaning and Imagination: A Review of "The Christian World of the Hobbit"

I admired The Christian World of the Hobbit because it took my love for the story and connected it to the central problems of my own life. In his book, Professor Brown tells us that one of Tolkien's favorite themes was the ennobling of the ignoble—the recognition that those who seem small and unimportant can nonetheless accomplish great things. (160) The hobbits represent this theologically-sound teaching in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and their stories remind us that what we do matters. If even hobbits can be a part of the saving of the world, then why can't we?

To paraphrase Tolkien, what is important in this life is what we do with the times we are given. A great work of great imagination like The Hobbit and its forthcoming film adaptations can entertain us, but thankfully, it can also remind us that we are on an adventure, and that everything we do matters.

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12/2/2022 9:10:35 PM
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  • Greg Garrett
    About Greg Garrett
    Greg Garrett is (according to BBC Radio) one of America's leading voices on religion and culture. He is the author or co-author of over twenty books of fiction, theology, cultural criticism, and spiritual autobiography. His most recent books are The Prodigal, written with the legendary Brennan Manning, Entertaining Judgment: The Afterlife in Popular Imagination, and My Church Is Not Dying: Episcopalians in the 21st Century. A contributor to Patheos since 2010, Greg also writes for the Huffington Post,, OnFaith, The Tablet, Reform, and other web and print publications in the US and UK.