Faith, hope, and despair in Tolkien’s works

— Martina Juričková

14 April 2021 | Journal of Tolkien Research, Volume 12, № 1, 1

This paper explores how Tolkien depicts the two of the hierarchically most important Christian virtues — the theological virtues — faith and hope, and the opposing vice to hope, despair, in his Middle-earth tales. Knowing that Tolkien was a devout Catholic who acknowledged implementing elements of his faith into his work, it can be assumed that in the depiction of virtues he was also inspired by their religious understanding. The aim of this paper is to determine to what extent is his depiction of the chosen virtues concordant with their Christian definitions and what purpose they serve plot-wise.

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