Philosophy in Tolkien

Anybody have thoughts on this? I was thinking about the Lord of the Rings today, and a lot of stuff jumped out at me as Platonic: the wisdom and virtue of the elves, the corrupting influence of the rings of power, etc. There’s also a lot about ethics, virtue, religion (good-evil dualism), nature, mortality…the list goes on. It’s 4 in the morning so I don’t feel like writing anything specific now, but I’m just wondering what you all think.

Also, are there any good/relevant books on the subject?



“a lot of stuff jumped out at me as Platonic”

Not Platonic, Neo-Platonic, as in the Neo-Platonic basis of fundamental Christianity achieved mostly through Augustine. He was quite close to Christian apologist C.S. Lewis, who also wrote fantasy Christian fantasy allegories in the Chronicles of Narnia and the Sci-fi Out the Silent Planet trilogy. As a Medievalist, the Lord of the Rings has a more authentic, less didactic feel to it, when compared C.S. Lewis, but they are informed by the same Neo-Platonic/Christianity.


“all we have to decide is what to do with the time that has been given to us”

indeed :slight_smile:

an age old Metaphysical battle between Good & Evil

try to keep an eye to the light :wink:


Can you distinguish Platonism and Neo-Platonism for me? I know Augustine was strongly influenced by Plato, but does anything other than Christianity differ between the two? I admit to being uninformed here…