Senior Honors Theses

Publication Date

2016

School

College of Arts and Sciences

Major

English

Keywords

JRR Tolkien, Beauty, Loss, Hope, Eucatastrophe, Dyscatastrophe

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities

Abstract

In his writings, Tolkien affirms the presence of loss and longing, beauty and despair and analyzes the function they serve in both the secondary world of Middle-earth and the primary world. This thesis will explore his theories of the eucatastrophe and the dyscatastrophe, and his insistence that the joy and hope which are expressed by the eucatastrophe are dependent upon the dyscatastrophe—the presence of sorrow and despair. This thesis will also examine how Christians’ knowledge of Tolkien’s philosophy can better equip them to cope with the brokenness of a fallen world as well as provide motivation for developing and engaging a secular culture.

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