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Bilbo's Journey: Discovering the Hidden Meaning in The Hobbit Paperback – November 23, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
It comes as no surprise that there are beautiful Catholic themes woven throughout The Hobbit since JRR Tolkien was a lifelong Catholic. The themes are not quite as obvious in The Hobbit as in the The Lord of the Rings which makes this book quite an interesting treasure to read. Although some points from The Lord of the Rings are also included which I much appreciated and enjoyed.
Professor Pearce takes us on a journey~Bilbo's journey~which is also the journey of a soul. This is the journey of a soul that dies to self in order to be reborn again in Christ. One that leaves the comforts and pleasures of a self-centered life to embark on a pilgrimage filled with trials, dangers, and temptations. As in the spiritual life, this is how the soul is purified and tested.
Bilbo's journey is an adventure in which the virtues of loyalty, patience, self-sacrifice, prudence, peacemaking, forgiveness, courage, and faithfulness are acquired. When Bilbo finally returns to his home from his journey, he is truly *a new man*.
It's timely release is a perfect companion to those picking up The Hobbit for the first time, those looking forward to the movie's release this December, and those seasoned readers who have a dog-eared copy. I would also recommend this to late middle school and high school students who are encountering Tolkien's literature in school or at home.
Professor Pearce has really opened my eyes to the implications of many of the characters and situations in The Hobbit that has allowed me to see it in a new light...a spiritual light. I will never read it the same way again.
Bilbo's Journey: Discovering the Hidden Meaning in The Hobbit (Saint Benedict Press, 144 pages, paperback) goes beyond the fantasy to unearth the profound Christian truths hidden within Tolkien's classic work.
Tolkien himself described the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which The Hobbit precedes, as a "fundamentally religious and Catholic work." This underlying dimension is often noble, as in the virtue and self-sacrifice we spot in Bilbo, the dwarves, and the elves. These characters, Pearce notes, embody Jesus' beatific teachings. But there are also darker dimensions like the pride, lust, and greed we see in figures like Smaug, which affirm Jesus' warning that "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:21).
When examined through this Catholic lens, The Hobbit becomes a multi-layered spiritual journey:
"[The Hobbit] is a rite of passage from ignorance to wisdom and from bourgeois vice to heroic virtue. Its main character, Bilbo, represents each of us journeying toward God and moral perfection."
Pearce also shows how this journey is aided by religious forces like providence.Though Tolkien never mentions God throughout his fiction, his characters consistently face dire odds but emerge through the help of so-called "luck." Yet this is no mere chance, Pearce explains.Read more ›
Be aware that Pearce expects that you have read both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings before you read this book.
The failure to see and understand the hidden meaning of Tolkien's works, parallels an episode within the pages of The Hobbit where the company of dwarfs and even Gandalf could not see, let alone interpret directions on an ancient map. Elrond did see, understand and read that hidden message because he viewed it on a midsummer's eve under a crescent moon. These were the same conditions in effect when the message was first inscribed. Similarly, to fully grasp the hidden meaning of The Hobbit, the tale must be read with Catholic eyes.
Who better to uncover the hidden meaning of The Hobbit than noted Catholic author Joseph Pearce, who wrote biographies of J. R. R. Tolkien and two of the major influences in Tolkien's intellectual and literary development--Hilarie Belloc and G. K. Chesterton. To further support his assertions Pearce delved into many of the sources used by Tolkien in writing The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings allowing him to share Tolkien's perspective.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this book after attending a lecture by the author. Pearce's writing style is academic, but not pretentious. Read morePublished 1 month ago by The Kid's Mom
Was just a recounting of the story. Ralph Wood's "The Gospel According to Tolkien" was far superior.Published 13 months ago by S C Hlong
Joseph Pearce's Bilbo's Journey provides insights to everyone's journey. It is a meditative reflection on the hidden meaning of an intriguing imaginative character, Bilbo Baggins,... Read morePublished 14 months ago by ROBERT MOYNIHAN
Very much appreciated addition to The Hobbit book/movies and will come in handy for the soon to be released Battle Of The Five Armies.Can't wait!Published 14 months ago by Ellen
I read "The Hobbit" a long time ago and I had noticed several glimpses of the hidden meaning of this story and of "The Lord of Rings", but Joseph Pearce confirmed... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Cliente de Amazon
Thought provoking and flowing, I highly recommend this for any fan of Tolkien, especially practicing Catholics, for a look a some fascinating themes hidden in an otherwise... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Tim Sonski
I'am a elderly person and this is the first time i've read the Christian meanings in the Hobbit. Great story.Published 20 months ago by Carl Countryman