Grapho : Concordia Seminary Student Journal

Document Type



gandalf, tolkien, frodo, galadriel, christian, evil, saruman, gollum

Submission Type

Bible Study; Lecture; Sermon Prep


When considering potential gospel patterns in J. R. R. Tolkien’s work, every critic is met with two conflicting realities. Firstly, the presence of gospel patterns is abundantly apparent in Tolkien’s work. Secondly, Tolkien himself stated rather emphatically that he did not intend to create a Christian allegory. Clyde S. Kilby writes, “The story, says [Tolkien], is ‘not ‘about’ anything but itself ’ and certainly ‘has no allegorical intentions, general, particular or topical, moral, religious or political.’ [Tolkien] declares in fact that he has a ‘cordial dislike’ of allegory.”1


Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)

Ephesians 4:9–10; Matthew 28:18b; Matthew 26:39; Ephesians 4:13; Ephesians 5:13-14; John 14:27;

Submission Cost


Submission Audience

Laity; Ministers; Scholars

People in this Resource (separated by commas)

J. R. R. Tolkien, Clyde S. Kilby, Ralph C. Wood, Ronald Hutton, Christopher Garbowski,