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Tolkien's Middle-earth:

Lesson Plans for Secondary School Educators

Unit Seven: Tolkien's Moral Universe

Key Terms

doubling The literary device of supplying a character with his moral or psychological opposite.

Manichaeism (man-i-ke-izm) A religious doctrine, formulated by the third-century Persian prophet Mani, that treats good and evil as equal and opposite principles.

Augustinian theology The doctrines of Saint Augustine, the most influential of the early Church fathers. In Augustinian theology, evil is not a force in itself but rather the absence of good.

virtue ethics The school of ethical philosophy that regards conscience or character as the source of goodness.

Kantian ethics The school of ethical philosophy, predicated on the ideas of Immanuel Kant, that emphasizes universally binding duties.

utilitarianism The school of ethical philosophy that regards "the greatest good for the greatest number" as the proper aim of a moral or legal system.

moral evil An evil perpetrated by a human being, such as premeditated murder.

natural evil A catastrophe unrelated to human desire, such as a tornado or an epidemic.

doom A dreadful fate or an official judgment. Tolkien frequently uses "doom" in the latter sense. In Book Four Faramir declares that Frodo shall be free to roam around Gondor, then adds, "This doom shall stand for a year and a day."

gangrel A wandering beggar. In Book Four Frodo describes Gollum to Faramir as "a wretched gangrel creature."

Unit Seven Content

Comments for Teachers
Preliminary Quiz
Key Terms
Discussion Topics
Suggested Activities

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