Tom Bombadil God In J. R. Tolkien's The Lord Of The Bible
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Early Christian theory is often preoccupied with the anxieties of defining the ideal human in the light of the Fall, and illustrating how humans should interact with the material world. Many of the early Church fathers were Neoplatonists, writing that the material world is merely a reflection of a purer realm inspired by the Creator. Ephrem the Syrian, however, centered his writings on Aristotelian philosophy, emphasizing the importance of using our sense to interact with the material world. Instead of ignoring our surroundings, Ephrem writes, we should praise both the Creator and His Creation in everyday life (Hansbury 1). Despite being cast out from the Garden of Eden, humans should praise God for Creation. The ideal human, therefore, should sing praises daily of both the physical and the spiritual. In J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Tom Bombadil is a mystical character who appears to be unaffected by the corruption of the world outside of the Old Forest. Other than his tenuous relationship with Old Man Willow and the Barrow Wights, he is innocent to the evil lurking outside his influence. He also sings and dances constantly, content to describe interact with his physical surroundings. Tom Bombadil appears as an ideal human, like a pre-Fall Adam, because he expresses the early Christian tradition of a musical cosmology and anthropology, evidenced in the works of Ephrem the Syrian.
Inspired by Syrian asceticism, Ephrem the Syrian was a well-respected hymnist and