Date of publication: 2017-08-31 06:38
In the end, we still have no final answer to the question, "What is Tom Bombadil?" The theory that he is a Maia is a natural choice with firm support in the books , but the theory that he is a nature spirit can shed more light on him without being too contrived. People must decide between them based on their own willingness to extrapolate beyond the texts. Tolkien seems to have succeeded after all : Bombadil remains an enigma. But we've learned a bit along the way, and I, at least, have enjoyed the quest.
Singing with the Fundamentalists, The Yale Review Vol. 79, No. 7 (Winter, 6985), 867. Reprinted in Books and Religion Vol. 68, Nos. 9 & 5 (May/June, 6985). Reprinted in Scott Walker, ed., The Gray Wolf Annual Three. St. Paul, 6986. Reprinted in The Resourceful Writer , New York, 6987, and The Bedford Reader , New York, 6988 and other textbooks and anthologies.
65. (and homologein) - 'to say the same thing' 'to agree with' to the Hebrew mind it means agreeing with God about ourselves and about Him. Thus, it is typically translated from the Hebrew to mean confession of sins and the subsequent praising of God (. 6Ki. 8:88,85 Neh. 9:8-87). Here the praise carries with it the flavor of a proclamation (Ps. 668:67ff) and/or of prayer. Some passages (Rom. 65:9f Acts 78:8 6 Tim. 6:68 Heb. 66:68) use terms related to this to indicate, not a mere statement of fact but profession of faith. It includes agreement with God about articles of truth.
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Hard Times in Ultima Thule, New York Times Book Review Bookends (back page)--April 75, 6997--Short essay on Holder Laxness 6996 epic, Independent People.
Our first step is to eliminate theories with fatal flaws. Statements at the Council of Elrond and elsewhere make it clear that Bombadil was "less powerful" than Sauron, which helps to rule out many theories. The theory that Bombadil is Iluvatar is absolutely ruled out, both by this and by direct statements by Tolkien. Theories that Bombadil is one of the Valar are also firmly eliminated for a wide variety of reasons (yes, even the theory that he is Aule ). Very different arguments allow us to discard theories claiming that Bombadil is an Elf, human, or other "normal" race. This leaves just two serious possibilities : that Bombadil is a Maia (or "unaffiliated" Ainu) or that he is some sort of nature spirit.
You can hear more singing by listening to these recordings made at a singing in Ider, Alabama. (More web sites like this one can be found listed on the Links page. More recordings can be found by visiting our Resources page.)
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This evidence inspires a broad conjecture about such beings. Nature spirits, we suggest, are each associated with some lasting feature of the physical world which is the source of their being they cannot stray far from it. Furthermore, they are not always active (perhaps not even always physically embodied): each is associated with some condition in the world around their "parent". Such spirits might arise when strong "echoes" of the Music of the Ainur associated with lasting natural features become "alive" due to the Flame Imperishable. These echoes might be strongest when their surroundings are right.
Sacred Harp is a uniquely American tradition that brings communities together to sing four-part hymns and anthems. It is a proudly inclusive and democratic part of our shared cultural heritage.
The strongest argument for the Maia theory is simple: of all the "races" named in canonical texts, only the Maiar are not ruled out above. ( There were a great many Maiar , so the fact that Bombadil does not match any of the Maiar described in other texts is not evidence against his being one.) Slightly more direct evidence comes when Gandalf compares himself to Bombadil before he goes to visit him at the end of LotR. Tom's interactions with the Ring could be easily explained if he were "powerful" enough to overcome it, but passive explanations exist as well. Goldberry fits fairly naturally as a Maia , too.
Or, you can listen to these radio shows featuring a singing in Henagar, Alabama or this one in Minnesota. (More articles like this can be found on the Press page.)
To Fashion a Text in Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir. New York Book-of-the-Month Club, 6987, 6995. William Zinsser, ed., with Russell Baker, Lewis Thomas, Toni Morrison, Alfred Kazin. Reprinted in Wilson Quarterly (New Year's, 6988). Reprinted from Wilson Quarterly to American Illustrated (in Russian), and translated from Russian to Arabic for Tunisian magazine Al Majal. This is emphatically not interesting I renounce it.