Stoking the Flame Imperishable: Spiritual Redemption in Tolkien's The Silmarillion

UNCA Author/Contributor (non-UNCA co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Zach Scannell (Creator)
University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA )
Web Site:
David Hopes

Abstract: Through a psychoanalytic reading of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, this paper aims at analyzing spirituality and redemption and attempts to relate them to our contemporary world in a way which is applicable to our everyday lives. Spirituality is broken down into what I call “worldly trauma” and “spiritual corruption,” and is put into conversation with discussions of the unconscious (id) and the conscious (ego). Redemption refers to the treatment of mental illness and people with lived experience of traumatic events such as refugees and veterans. By examining one character in particular from the text—Maedhros—the astute reader draws connections between both what is written and what is not written in The Silmarillion and the world in which we live. I hope that one of the outcomes of this research is to inspire people to help advance the field of psychopathology and aid those who are in need.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion, Spirituality, Trauma, Id and Ego, Psychopathology

Email this document to