The Lure of Fantasy

Why does fantasy and magic facinate us?  Why are so many people drawn with extreem fantaticism to series like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and other Fantasy works?

I have a theory.

In our contemporary world, globalism and relativism and secularism are the rule of the day.  God is not popular.  Faith is not popular.  Miracles don’t exist.  This is what many proclaim.  All the spiritual bases of life are being attacked on all sides.  The faithful, as in their beginnings, often fear to profess their beliefs; for when they do, they are cruely attacked.  It is a sad and dark time we live in.

And yet, their is a small ray of hope.

That hope is fantasy, which is both a blessing and danger.  In fantasy, in magic, in wonder we find the last vestiges of the spiritual, if hidden or in mutilated form.  Through fantasy, the yearning in our hearts for miracle is revealed.  Our yearning for God, for something greater and outside our possible experience is fullfilled.  I believe, in the end, none of us want to believe in a Godless, scientific world.  Therefore, secretly, hidden in some deep well of our heart, there lies a yearning for the miraculous.

As has been stated by many Christian authors, including Tolkien, fantasy offers the ideal conduit for spiritual Truth.  In fantasy, the miracles of our world are allowed to live on, uncontested.  As their wonders are revealed to us on the page, we readers begin to become more aware of the miracles all around us.  Miracles do exist.  They are everywhere, we just refuse to look and recognize.  The great triumph of fantasy is its ability to reinvigorate our own world, to raise it from the dissillusionment of this age and show it for the shinging jewel of endless wonders it is.

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One thought on “The Lure of Fantasy

  1. Timothy,

    I’m guessing from what you wrote that you are religious. I’m not, but I certainly agree that relativism is a dreadful creed that Tolkien’s moral universe provides a wonderful tonic to.
    I think it’s great that you find a sanctuary in Tolkien’s work as much as I do, which I think just goes to show how much Tolkien’s idea of applicability over allegory really works.
    For me, it’s interesting that, although religion clearly overarches the work and is at the origin of all the grand themes of the work, there is an absence of formal religion in the day-to-day events of Middle Earth. Indeed, Gandalf never tries to persuade Frodo by saying that it is Illuvatar’s will; rather, he appeals to Frodo’s reason and integrity. The point I’d make is that whether you believe in God or prefer to deal directly in reason and ethics, Tolkien has something for you, which is great.

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