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Number of Pages: 220
Publication Date: 2003
|Dimensions: 8.0 X 5.0 (inches)|
Author: Sarah Arthur
Located in: Petoskey, Michigan
Submitted: December 09, 2003
Tell us a little about yourself. I'm a 1995 graduate of Wheaton College, IL with a major in Literature as well as Intercultural Christian Education. I served for 7 years as the full-time youth director of Petoskey United Methodist Church, during which I began writing curriculum for the United Methodist Publishing House (still do). In 2002 I "retired" from youth ministry in order to write, and within 6 months landed my first book contract with Tyndale House (for "Walking with Frodo"). In my spare time (!) I also write fiction, poetry, and illustrate my own stories for children. I'm married to my very best friend Tom, who lovingly created my website, www.saraharthur.com
What was your motivation behind this project? I was most motivated by my twin passions of youth ministry and literature. I get jazzed about finding teachable moments in pop culture that can be used to drive home spiritual truths for teens, but especially when there is a link to great literature of timeless value. Writing reflections for teens on the teachable moments in "The Lord of the Rings" has been one of the greatest joys of my life.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? For the teens and young adults who read it, I hope they gain a least a surface understanding of how Tolkien's faith profoundly influenced some of the major themes in "The Lord of the Rings," but more specifically how those themes apply to the choices we make every day. I also hope to provide a resource for youth workers, teachers, and home schooling parents for discussing these issues with young people. I very strongly feel that developing a healthy imagination in teens is crucial to their spiritual growth. Fiction - and fantasy in particular - can open doors to the gospel that are otherwise shut. For more of my thoughts on the relationship between imagination and faith in teens, visit my articles posted on www.saraharthur.com (under "Writing").
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? I'm a huge fan of the Inklings (an Oxford writing group from the 1940s which included J.R.R. Tolkien, author of "The Lord of the Rings"; C.S. Lewis; Charles Williams; etc.) and the British authors who inspired them (George MacDonald, G.K. Chesterton, etc.). I love literary fiction as well as literary nonfiction, but have found very few Christian authors who can pull it off. Exceptions include Madeleine L'Engle, Anne Lamott, Frederich Buechner, Calvin Miller, Annie Dillard, Elizabeth Goudge, and Luci Shaw.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: "Walking with Frodo" is geared for teen readers who are immersed in the pop culture phenomenon of "The Lord of the Rings." Thus it takes the spiritual themes in LOTR to a very practical level: what does this have to do with real life, faith, Scripture, and the choices I make every day? For the uninitiated, Tolkien was a Christian. In fact, he was instrumental in the conversion of C.S. Lewis from atheism to Christianity (they were friends and colleagues). Though Tolkien's faith is not overtly expressed in "The Lord of the Rings," his work is profoundly influenced by it.