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Tolkien's Ordinary Virtues : Exploring the Spiritual Themes of the Lord of the Rings [Paperback]

By Mark Eddy Smith (Author)
Our Price $ 11.05  
Retail Value $ 13.00  
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Item Number 72463  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   141
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.3"
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 2002
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  0830823123  
EAN  9780830823123  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Outline ReviewWith insight, humor, and a good deal of personal passion for his subject, Mark Eddy Smith offers glimpses into the deeper spiritual meaning of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings by looking at 30 virtues exemplified by its characters throughout the tales. He then invites readers to embrace these virtues for themselves. Using a persuasive, conversational style, Smith offers reflective commentary, sometimes with a direct call to action: "Are there not enough heroes left in the world? Become one yourself." Tolkien aficionados will appreciate such attention to detail as Smith's note that he uses the Ballantine paperback edition, 95th printing, for references. The author writes that he has found in Middle-earth "a training ground, a place where I can apprentice to those whose gifts of charity, wisdom, kindness, mercy, love and faithfulness far surpass my own." Readers who love the Tolkien tales will be challenged to make changes to their own lives through Smith's gentle, thoughtful prose. --Cindy Crosby

Product Description
"I will take the Ring, though I do not know the way." --Frodo Baggins, at the council of Elrond

"The mere recollection of [this phrase] can move me to tears. I have been reading this tale since I was twelve years old, taking it from my shelf every year or so and returning to Middle-earth . . . . As I get older, and learn more of what sort of person I am, and continue sojourning to the rich soil of the Shire and the high towers of Minas Tirith, I discover that many of my notions of what is good and right and noble in this world have their source in that one." - from the introduction

The Lord of the Rings offers us the essential lessons in living. Here we discover ordinary virtues, like generosity, pity, hospitality and rest. We meet extraordinary people, like Bilbo, Gandalf, Tom Bombadil and Glorfindel. We learn about the roots of destruction in pride and betrayal. And we find the ingredients for success, such as community and sacrifice.

Each of us-even the most simple-is called to a journey. We may be asked to leave behind everything we have grown dependent on. And when this is the case, the tale of Frodo and his friends offers hope that we will be given the strength and the help we need to overcome every obstacle and defeat every foe. This book will help you find the way.

"Writing in graceful, easy prose, Smith invites us to admire Tolkien not only for the epic scope of his imagination but also for the depth of his spiritual insight." David C. Downing, professor of English at Elizabethtown College and author of Planets in Peril and The Most Reluctant Convert

"Mark Eddy Smith's gentle account of Tolkien's ordinary virtues gets to the very quick of the great storyteller's vision." Colin Duriez, author of Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings and The Inkings Handbook

Buy Tolkien's Ordinary Virtues : Exploring the Spiritual Themes of the Lord of the Rings by Mark Eddy Smith from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780830823123 & 0830823123

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More About Mark Eddy Smith

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Smith is a writer who grew up in rural New Hampshire. He is a graphic designer at InterVarsity Press.

Mark Eddy Smith currently resides in Oak Park, in the state of Illinois. Mark Eddy Smith was born in 1967.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
the depth of virtues  Jun 26, 2007
This book serves as a great source for those looking for research on virtues. As a graduate student working on my thesis, I was glad to find a book that so closely related to my central and secondary topics.
Tolkien against the decline in values  Jul 6, 2004
Once more a book has been published which tries to venture into the spiritual depths of Tolkien's literary characters. Since the first part of the film trilogy had been released, the book market has got absolutely carried away in the sale of recent publications making any effort to get the Tolkien phenomenon more tangible for us. And do you know why? Well, it is just worth it. "The Lord of the Rings" is not a book to simply read and then to put down and forget it. On the contrary: it might change many of us forever, for the tale of Frodo and the One Ring leaves deep marks in our hearts and souls.

This is what you feel when you read this work of Mark Eddy Smith, who - perhaps most of all for himself - has tried to work out what exactly it is that is touching him so deeply through Tolkien's work. And it is a wonderful fact that he has decided to share his cognitions with us. The feelings that the author might have experienced during the writing are passed on to the reader to leave him in a grateful and contemplative mood. Mark Eddy Smith has classified Tolkien's novel according to values and virtues to give us a clear vision of what we have to rediscover and cultivate to satisfy our contemporary desires. This book is simply a fantastic work.

In a word - inspirational  Nov 26, 2003
This little gem inspired me to finally read the books. Mahalo Mark!
in a word, BORING  Jun 21, 2003
i tried and TRIED to get interested in this book but to no avail. could not hold my interest. too shallow.
Good work for character building based on char. development  Feb 10, 2003
This book follows along with the storyline of the Lord of the Rings and is helpful in pointing out both + and - virtues within characters and/or their development of those characteristics. It might be esp. helpful to those who want to teach the books in a scholastic setting, including home schooling, so that children can see virtue in action. I would recommend it also for the person who simply wants to enjoy the epic more and see some of the thematic elements he/she might be missing.

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