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God, Elvish, and Secondary Creation

Andrew Pinsent

Abstract

According to the theological worldview of J. R. R. Tolkien, the principal work of a Christian is to know, love, and serve God. Why, then, did he devote so much time to creating an entire family of imaginary languages for imaginary peoples in an imaginary world? This paper argues that the stories of these peoples, with their ‘eucatastrophes,’ have consoling value amid the incomplete stories of our own lives. But more fundamentally, secondary creation is proper to the adopted children of God and can be a way of drawing closer to God. Such work also witnesses to the freedom of the children of God, not only to receive salvation from God, but to contribute to the enrichment of creation and eternal life.

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