invasion of dragons might be good for them. But I don't feel like that now. I feel that as long as the Shire lies behind, safe and comfortable, I shall find wandering more bearable: I shall know that somewhere there is a firm foothold, even if my feet cannot stand there again.”37This devotion to saving the beautiful, unindustrialized parts of earth reflects heavily on Tolkien’s naturalist views developed from a young age. If his love for nature could be infused into his 36Humphrey Carpenter and Christopher Tolkien, eds.,THE LETTERS OF J. R. R. TOLKIEN(Boston, Sydney: GEORGE ALLEN & UNWIN, n.d.),191, accessed March 22, 2018, .37J. R. R Tolkien,The Fellowship of the Ring: Being the First Part of the Lord of the Rings, ed. Douglas A. Anderson, 2nd ed., The Lord of the Rings 1 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1993),71.Naab - 9
writing, it is, therefore, reasonable to assess that Tolkien’s religious history would also influence his creation. Religion, for many, provides the great “Truth.” This “Truth” could explain the meaning of life or perhaps display a set of moral guidelines for one to follow. Tolkien was a Roman Catholic who believed that“Christianity was the ‘True Myth,’ the myth that really happened, the myth that gives ultimate meaning to all the lesser myths,” and he, therefore, saw the world through a different lens.38Believing Tolkien’s work was driven by religion, Paul E. Kerry argued in his book, The Ring and the Cross: Christianity and the Writings of J. R. R. Tolkien, that Tolkien "could do little else" because religion influences a person’s"framing, fundamental, and universal truth"39It is important to note that Tolkien detested allegories, so much, in fact, that he claimed, “I dislike allegory whenever I smell it.”40However, Tolkien believed that imagination was a human trait gifted from God. Similar to how the musical composer Salieri in Amadeus believed true composers could hear and produce the voice of God in their music, Tolkien believed he was “given by God the gift of recording ‘a sudden glimpse of the underlying reality or truth’” and subconsciously implemented Christian themes and symbols throughout his work.41While a simple allegory is easier to spot and to follow, inserting subtle references to Christianity and Catholicism both follow the even subtler tendencies of God and also maintains flexibility for non-believers to still enjoy the story without having Catholicism forced upon them. The subtlety of God has sparked doubt for His existence longer than before the time the Bible was written. There is a Hebrew saying: “"lo sh'mo bo sh'mo": Where the Name is not 38"TOLKIEN, J.R.R.,"New Catholic Encyclopedia Supplement2 (2011):763.39Paul E. Kerry,The Ring and the Cross: Christianity and the Writings of J.R.R. Tolkien(Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2011),25.