January 28, 2020, 07:39:34 AM

Author Topic: Religion in Fantasy  (Read 7794 times)

Offline Yora

Re: Religion in Fantasy
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2020, 04:42:01 PM »
What I find fascinating about well done religion in fantasy is how it affects the logic by which people put priorities and approach obstacles. Though I have to say I've seen very few cases of well done religion in fantasy. Most fantasy works just don't have any.
Gods don't make a religion.
We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on a big tower of other dwarves.

Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor

Offline Neveesandeh

Re: Religion in Fantasy
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2020, 05:30:14 PM »
The Mistborn trilogy is an interesting one. The series has very clear religious themes that are obviously informed by the author's own background, but it's rare to find someone complaining about it being in your face or preachy.

Offline Bender

Re: Religion in Fantasy
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2020, 06:06:40 PM »
Red/Grey/Holy sister books are weird. Despite set in a monastery and all characters are sister/nuns, it has almost zero religion.
"I shall hunt your firstborn children and laugh with glee as I tell them of your death in terrible detail, with many unpleasant adjectives!" - M-Bot

"Who needs science when you have a dragon?" - Neil DeGrasse Tyson in Sharknado 6

Offline Skip

Re: Religion in Fantasy
« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2020, 06:22:22 PM »
>Red/Grey/Holy sister books are weird. Despite set in a monastery and all characters are sister/nuns, it has almost zero religion.

There you go, that's an example of what I mean. The author chooses the setting because he has certain assumptions about what it is to be a monk. So he gets ready-made a whole structure of oppression and regulation and rules. And that's fine. You can tell a good story within that. It's not that author who bothers me, it's that almost no one seems able to see further.

>Even Atheism is ultimately a faith, a religion, because there is no scientific basis for belief or rejection of the idea of a God, gods and there is the problem of morals.

Just a small note here. I wish there was the word Antitheism because that's what I see in most people who identify as atheists. There's nothing intrinsic to being atheist that leads to being critical of religion. In a specifically Christian context, it means someone who has not heard the Word, who hasn't experienced a conversion. That's a peculiarly Christian thing. To be a Muslim, you need only declare yourself to be one and to observe the rules of the faith. Similarly with Buddhism. Judaism is odd because there's an identification as a people--inheritance--but there's still a door open to converts. I'm not at all sure about Hinduism, but for the most part I think it's a birthright. Anyway, Christianity is unusual (unique?) in that it insists on a spiritual conversion.

I mean, right there, without even going into sects and heresies, is a rich panoply of religion and individual and society.  IMO, the reason why it doesn't get done much is because we're fundamentally secular as a society. Religion doesn't resonate, save for the one area of religion as oppression and exploitation. To go further would require the book to do a bunch of hard work bringing the reader into it.

How many modern readers are going to be moved by Pierre's spiritual crisis in War and Peace? How many will think the issues raised in Narcissus and Goldmund are interesting? Or can feel the epic scale of A Prayer for Owen Meany?
Visit Altearth

Offline Yora

Re: Religion in Fantasy
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2020, 07:29:54 PM »
I guess the issue is that most readers would likely not see the relevance of the particular issue. Which you can also have with a lot of non-religious issues in a 19th century book. We don't really understand anymore why a woman would make a big deal about getting married. Not to anyone specifically, but just to somebody!

I think you could write something like this, but you would have to find an issue modern readers are more likely to care about.
We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on a big tower of other dwarves.

Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor

Offline Neveesandeh

Re: Religion in Fantasy
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2020, 11:00:27 PM »
Red/Grey/Holy sister books are weird. Despite set in a monastery and all characters are sister/nuns, it has almost zero religion.

That was one of my bigger issues with Red Sister. No one seems all that interested in the religion, yet they are supposed to have dedicated their lives to it. Characters do things that would probably get them kicked out of a real convent and no one cares.

Offline Matthew

Re: Religion in Fantasy
« Reply #36 on: January 17, 2020, 01:03:17 AM »
Red/Grey/Holy sister books are weird. Despite set in a monastery and all characters are sister/nuns, it has almost zero religion.

That was one of my bigger issues with Red Sister. No one seems all that interested in the religion, yet they are supposed to have dedicated their lives to it. Characters do things that would probably get them kicked out of a real convent and no one cares.

They felt more like a militant order with a side of faith and political clout due to them being run as boarding schools for rich girls.