Frodo and Harry’s Gospel: Biblical Tradition in Fantasy Genre in Literature Cover Image

Frodo un Harija evaņgēlijs: Bibliskā tradīcija fantāzijas žanra literatūrā
Frodo and Harry’s Gospel: Biblical Tradition in Fantasy Genre in Literature

Author(s): Bārbala Simsone
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Latvijas Universitātes Filozofijas un socioloģijas institūts

Summary/Abstract: The paper Frodo and Harry’s Gospel: Biblical Tradition in Fantasy Genre in Literature is devoted to the analysis of world popular both classic and modern works ( J.R.R. Tolkien’s monumental novel The Lord of the Rings, C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia and the Harry Potter series of J.K. Rowlings’ novels) in the context of Judaic-Christian tradition and the Old and New Testament writing. The paper searches for biblical echoes in fantasy literature – both in its metaphorical discourse and in the similarity of motifs, as well as in the network of biblical allusions and symbols that form an important ethical component part of the genre. Analyzing an extensive amount of mainly indirect allusions in the above-mentioned works it transpired that the biblical influence is felt both in the Christian fantasy genre works where the biblical conceptions play the main role in the development of the plot and in works based on western culture with the presence of motives and plots basing on Christian traditions, but which do not claim belonging to Christian literature. Besides both types of work make extensive use of medieval Christian symbols and biblical conceptions in the world outlook that are sooner associative than verbalized. A number of subject themes that permeate the Bible: the fight of the good and evil both on the individual and global scale, the hero personality’s transformation as a result of his search for truth (one could speak here of initiation that is raised to a new level – the level of Christian morality), the quality of being chosen, obedience and curse form an indispensable part of many fantasy works. Most frequently used themes borrowed from the Christian world outlook are those of the acts of Providence, search for the hero as a functional equivalent of a pilgrimage, the necessity for a sacrifice in order to save the world and etc. Many authors propagate as the central virtue – the virtue of mercy. Thus, the linguistic and conceptual structure of the fantasy genre has absorbed the essence of western Christianity both in the form of abundant material of biblical allusions and in the form of different confessional traditions.

  • Issue Year: XIII/2010
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 77-101
  • Page Count: 25
  • Language: Latvian