Aktualności ze świata miłośników twórczości Tolkiena

Fraternitas Sancti Brendani invites you to join in!

There is yet another form of Tolkien-related activity! On the Elendili Internet forum (its Westron (or English) section is here), there exists a group embracing Christian Tolkien fans, who desire to talk about faith and morality, and share their life experiences with members of their communities. It is called Fraternitas Sancti Brendani [FStB], or The Brotherhood of Saint Brendan. It is the wish of its founder members to recreate the atmosphere of the meetings of the Inklings (J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Ch. Williams, and others), during which the subject of Christianity was often raised. The result of those meetings were the Christian works of the Inklings, including Tolkien’s Mythopeia and Leaf by Niggle, or Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia and The Space Trilogy. Due to the difficult subject matter, the activity of FStB is closely supervised by Joanna “Adaneth” Drzewowska. The group wants to act as – to quote from Joseph Pearce’s Literary Converts – “a union of mutually reinforcing souls “. The Brotherhood wishes to invite all the people who, following the example of the Inklings, are interested in Christianity and want to talk about Tolkien’s Catholicism, as well as all who are fascinated by Middle-earth, where Christianity is like honey that has soaked into bread (to learn more, click here). To join the group, you must first become a member of the Elendili forum (all instuctions in English there are here), then click the bookmark “Grupy” (Groups) at the top of the main page, and ask the moderator to register you.

brendanJ. R. R. Tolkien was interested in the figure of Saint Brendan, who sailed into the West in search of the Earthly Paradise, just like the sailors in Tolkien’s mythology. A motif of the land of bliss in the West, which is present in the legends of Saint Brendan and in Tolkien’s mythology, has its roots in the beliefs of the Celts of the British Isles. Tolkien’s interest in the subject resulted in his writing of the poem Imram; its wonderful translation into Polish has been made by Joanna “Adaneth” Drzewowska. Imram first came out when The Lord of the Rings was published – that is, in 1955. Brendan was also mentioned by Tolkien in The Nameless Land (1924-1927) and the footnotes to The Lost Road. In The Notion Club Papers we can find the poem entitled The Death of St Brendan. The problem of relations between Tolkien’s imaginary world and the legends of Saint Brendan was considered by Norma Roche in her article Sailing West: Tolkien, the Saint Brendan Story, and the Idea of Paradise in the West (published in Mythlore 17, nr 4 (66), summer 1991).

As for Saint Brendan of Clonfert (his feast day is celebrated on May 16), he was born c. 484 in Ireland, and was one of the leaders of the Gaelic Church. Monastic life had been highly esteemed in Ireland since the introduction of Christianity to the island by Saint Patrick. Brendan became a monk; he quickly gathered a circle of disciples around him. He founded a community of monks and became its prior. Brendan also served as a missionary: he travelled almost the whole country, a great part of Europe, and even may have crossed the Atlantic. The monasteries that he had founded became important centres of art and science. A popular legend – the Voyage of Saint Brendan (Navigatio sancti Brendani) – tells how Brendan and a group of monks, sailing in wooden boats, reached the shores of a paradise island. For centuries, sailors placed themselves under the protection of St Brendan and dreamt that one day they also would find the wonderful island – St Brendan’s Island. He died in 577 or 583. You will learn more about him here.

Saint Brendan is a good patron of the Christian corner that is being created and visited by Tolkien fans. Fraternitas Sancti Brendani invites you to join in!

Translated by Jaroslaw „Noatar” Schramel

Kategorie wpisu: Biografia Tolkiena, In Westron (English), Tolkienowski internet

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