God, Tolkien and LOTR

I’m trying to find a quotation I read a few years ago - perhaps by W.H. Auden or C.S. Lewis - to the effect that God is never mentioned but always present in “The Lord of the Rings.” Can anyone give me the exact quotation, and a cite?

Many thanks.

Some help:

In a letter to poet W.H. Auden, Tolkien once wrote, “I don’t feel under any obligation to make my story fit with formalized Christian theology, though I actually intended it to be consonant with Christian thought and belief.“ The book is filled with biblical imagery and concepts throughout. However, the gospel is never given and no religious system (Catholic or otherwise) is ever espoused in its pages. God is never mentioned, but the hints at the power of a Higher Being in the universe are pervasive.

‘We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming a “sub-creator” and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbor, while materialistic “progress” leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.’ - **J.R.R. Tolkien **

You may want to look at this page: http://www.cornerstonemag.com/imaginarium/inklinks/ink004.html
This is a book to possibly look for in the Library: Finding God in the Lord of the Rings

I hope some of this at least helps.

“the entire story of The Lord of the Rings reflects God’s grace, but while God is always present, he is never named”
Birzer, Bradley J. J. R. R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle Earth. Wilmington, DE: ISI, 2002.

Page 58, IIRC

Somehow I knew you would be along shortly. Can I please ask where you found it so fast?

I remembered it?

Seriously, I googled {“god is always present” tolkien} and there it was. But I had read that book before.

Thank You. I’ve never read that book. I checked a few resources I knew of and came up blank.

Incidentally, it’s not quite true that God is never mentioned in Lord of the Rings; rather, the mentions are all indirect. The two strongest are Gandalf at the Bridge of Khazad-Dum (“I am a servant of the Secret Fire”) and in one of the Appendices, where Arwen is musing on the gift of the One to men. It’s fairly easy to guess that the One is God, though that’s not in the main body of the novel, and one wouldn’t know without reading the Silmarillion that the Secret Fire is roughly synonymous with the Holy Spirit.

Thanks, but… I’d never heard of Birzer before, and I’m pretty sure he may be paraphrasing either Auden or Lewis. Anyone else find another, earlier source for the quotation?