The Deeper Magic: Christ-like Figures and Faith in the Fantasy of J.K. Rowling and J.R.R. Tolkien (thesis)
AbstractUltimately, my intention in exploring the Christ-like figures and nostalgically idyllic communities of faith in both Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings can be distilled into three parts. My first objective is to suggest that Rowling and Tolkien deserve more scholarly attention specifically focused on their similar commitments to producing an element of underlying Christianity in their work. Secondly, I aim to better understand why the two authors embedded their religious convictions in such implicit manners throughout their series, rather than following Lewis’ more overt, allegorical tactics. Primarily, though, I hope to demonstrate that, just as both authors ask their readers to entrust them with belief in their fantastical worlds, Rowling and Tolkien duly reward such leaps of faith by encouraging their readers, indirectly, toward belief in what Tolkien would call the “story of a larger kind which embraces all the essence of fairy stories. . . . I hope to demonstrate that it is almost as if Rowling and Tolkien, though half a century apart, have collaborated to both ask their respective readers: if you could put your faith in this fictional story, where else might you be willing to place your faith? [From Introduction]
Sutton Paige Travis is a member of the Class of 2019 of Washington and Lee University.
Honors thesis; [FULL-TEXT WILL BE AVAILABLE FOLLOWING A 1-YEAR EMBARGO]