Tolkien stories provide escape with 'moral clarity' -

Tolkien stories provide escape with 'moral clarity'
By Wendy Juneau - March 20, 2004

The Lord of the Rings" movie trilogy sparked a renewed popularity for author J.R.R. Tolkien.

Readers and moviegoers have escaped from reality into Tolkien's world filled with "moral clarity," said Ralph Wood, a Baylor University and George W. Truett Theological Seminary professor of literature and theology.

Wood spoke Feb. 6-7 to groups at LSU and St. James Episcopal Church. He is the author of "The Gospel According to Tolkien: Visions of the Kingdom in Middle-earth."

The story of "The Lord of the Rings" is set in Middle-Earth. A hobbit, Frodo Baggins, inherits a magical ring. The Ring is sought after by the dark lord Sauron, who wants to use the Ring to enslave the people of the land. Frodo is part of a fellowship of characters to destroy the Ring before Sauron can capture it. The story details the incredible journey Frodo and his friends take to save the land.

Wood's presentations discussed the correlation between theology and Tolkien's writings, focusing on "The Lord of the Rings." The story, Wood said, "makes goodness attractive."

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