Christian Humanist Profiles 25: The Hobbit Party

Imagine rolling green hills at twilight, speckled with the glow of round windows peeking from under eaves of turf, each opening to a scene of snug, domestic comfort. Imagine an idyllic pastoral land, full of small, happy inhabitants leading small happy lives. Who wouldn’t want to live in the Shire? But we can’t: Hobbiton is just as imaginary as the rest of Tolkien’s Middle-earth, and its peaceful society as impossible as any other utopian dream. Or is it? In their book The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom that Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot, Jonathan Witt and Jay Richards argue that the good society of the Shire is upheld by the same principles that make a good society in our reality. In fact, according to Witt and Richards, Tolkien’s Middle-earth is, on many levels, a fictional depiction of social, economic, political, and theological truths that our society ignores at its peril.

2 thoughts on “Christian Humanist Profiles 25: The Hobbit Party

  1. Thanks for the interview, Dr. Grubbs.  Intriguing discussion on Tolkien’s view that prosperity and human flourishing increase with population growth.  I think one of the saddest storylines in the LOTR is how the Ents lost their Entwives and to hear Treebeard lament not only the loss of their mates but especially the fact that there have been no new Entings to raise.  For all their majesty and wisdom and power the Ents were clearly a culture on decline.

  2. ChenBuLei  As I said in the episode, that was an element in Tolkien’s Middle-earth that I hadn’t noticed before, but once it’s pointed out, I see it everywhere.

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