It is well known that theological and philosophical considerations became increasingly important for J.R.R. Tolkien. The publication of The Nature of Middle-earth is a proof of that since this collection of both published and unpublished writings by J.R.R. Tolkien deals with natural aspects, such as the hair or beards of the inhabitants of Arda, as well as metaphysical topics like free will or reincarnation. This publication makes it possible to analyze the interdependence of Tolkien’s thoughts on the operation of time and ageing with the relationship of mind/spirit and body, and thus both the inner consistency and coherence of his subcreation, as well as its philosophical and theological soundness.

This papers addresses these topics by focusing on questions of philosophical (and theological) anthropology: It begins with the framing context of time, matter, and the processes of Arda, then turns to Tolkien’s description of the relationship between mind/spirit and body (or rather hröa and fëa), highlighting the instructive differences between Valar, Elves and Humans. At the same time it also asks whether his theoretical reflections provide the basis for his narrative works or are a consequence of them.



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