We need more Tolkien in our society. Christians should read him constantly. An interesting side to Tolkien’s famed Trilogy was brought to my attention in a fascinating article by Matthew Dickerson entitled Food and the Culture of Hobbits. Dickerson observes that there is good in Peter Jackson’s magnificent rendition of the Lord of the Rings, but yet, he finds that readers miss crucial features of Tolkien by looking only to the studio productions.
One feature that is missed is the theme of feasting. As Dickerson observes:
…the narrator is particularly fond of describing the food and the various traditions and practices surrounding meals and eating in Middle-earth.
In Tolkien’s world, food is communal. It is to be shared. It brings people together and accentuates joy. Dickerson, in sacramental fashion observes that it is “the importance of what happens around these meals that makes the sacrifice of war worthwhile and that lets the reader know there is something worth fighting about.”
Tolkien opens the door to discuss sacramental theology. In bread and wine the community is united and strengthened for battle. In the church’s sacred meal Yahweh’s family is emboldened to fight Mordor.