The Battle for Middle-earth by Fleming Rutledge is an essay on the religious connotations in The Lord of the Rings saga.
Indeed, Tolkien intended his Ring saga to be a Christian story. Rutledge explains every passage revealing a “deep narrative” under the first/appearent narrative of the story. Following the order of events of the books, we discover what Tolkien planned for his tale.
Pity and Mercy (capitalised) are the essential focuses of the series as well as the uplifiting of the “little people,” represented by the hobbits. Unseen during the first reading of the saga is the invisible presence of Providence – or God – underlined by every passive construction and every unexpected saving. This book makes explicit all that Tolkien wanted to teach in his series. The majority of the claims are supported by quotations from Tolkien’s letters.
In addition, it is important to note that Middle-earth is our world after the Fall before before Christ which means Tolkien intended us to identify with the characters, with the land, with the tale. Aragon and Gandalf are highlighted and put back in their (rightful) place and minor characters are uplifted to great stations.
Whether you’re a believer or not, knowing how intricate the story is as far as Tolkien’s beliefs are concerned is very valuable.
I gave this book 4*/5.