Is it just silly to think anyone would see Tolkien’s house as a ‘religious museum’? Lord of the Rings hasn’t generated a real-world cult, like Star Wars generated Jediism, yet people very often point to the strong Christian influence that underlies all Tolkien’s writings, both moral and symbolic. And the role of fantasy as a post-modern equivalent of religion is much discussed.
There’s a project to buy Tolkien’s house in North Oxford and convert it into a museum.
If the house is secured for Tolkien fans, it will be renovated so that the guest can experience what it would have been like to call on the Professor in 1940. Upstairs the bedrooms would reflect the cultures he invented and the garden would be restored to a beauty of which the inventor of Sam Gamgee would be proud.
I shall support the project regardless of whether it’s in any sense ‘religious’, just because of happy memories of reading the newly-published Lord of the Rings as an X-Ray department porter in Epsom General Hospital.
Images in this post are taken from the Project Northmoor website