Did Tolkien intend Gandalf's Death and Return to represent Christ and the Ressurection?
From: Erik Tracy
This would have represented a too literal embodiement of Christian ideal, which Tolkien thought undesirable in a story. This was a reason why he disliked the Arthurian tales:
"[i]t is involved in, and explicitly contains the Christian religion. For reasons which I will not elaborate, that seems to me fatal. Myth and fairy- story must, as all art, reflect and contain in solution elements of moral and religious truth (or error), but not explicit, not in the known form of the primary 'real' world."Further, in one of his letters, he flatly denies this type of allegory (which he avoided in his stories and repeatedly denied):
"Thus Gandalf faced and suffered death; and came back or was sent back, as he says, with enhanced power. But though one may be in this reminded of the Gospels, it is not really the same thing at all. The Incarnation of God is an infinitely greater thing than anything I would dare to write. Here I am only concerned with Death as part of the nature, physical and spiritual, of Man, and with Hope without guarantees."Gandalf's death and return is meant to show that sometimes the sacrifice of one's self for a worthy purpose can be changed and enlarged to another and higher purpose.
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