Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 5 months ago

How to put religious themes in a fantasy novel?

Since I'm religious I don't like the idea of mixing what is fiction with what is fact.

However I do love writing fantasy stories and would like my novels to have a meaningful life lesson in it. This is easy when it comes to other genres because it's based in the real world so you can always imbue your character learning about the light at the end of the tunnel.

But in a fantasy story you can't just make up a god and put the same teachings in bc it's not The God.

6 Answers

  • Zac Z
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    You say that since you're religious you don't like the idea of mixing what is fiction with what is fact.

    If one were mean one could say that you're doing this already since your god is fictitious.

    But I'm not mean so I won't say that! :-p

    OK, on to your question.

    There are plenty of fantasy novels that have religious themes, in some of them religion is central.

    There are religious authors writing fantasy weaving their particular theology into the novels; some do it rather obviously, such as with the Narnia books by C. S. Lewis, Frank E. Peretti's novels (e.g. the Cooper Kids series, and his This Present Darkness / Piercing the Darkness) or Orson Scott Card's Mormon related fantasies, some keep it a bit less obvious, such as Ted Dekker (who says that he tries to appeal to non-religious readers by not hitting them over the head with too explicit religious content) or Stephen Lawhead.

    There are also religious authors that include fictitious religions in their books, such as the Tracy Hickman (of Dragonlance fame) and Brandon Sanderson, both Mormons*, or Gene Wolfe.

    For your specific purpose, I'd recommend you to read some of Tracy Hickman's books that he co-authored with Margaret Weis. These two were fantasy powerhouses back in the 80s and 90s; they seem to have been pushed aside in recent years as their work is more traditional and not the currently favored grimdark version of fantasy.

    But they do exactly what you are asking for: integrating religion into fantasy.

    Their best know works are probably their Dragonlance books (their series started the novel franchise) and I can recommend these are there are gods at play.

    But a lesser known series by that duo which is absolutely perfect for you is their "Rose of the Prophet" trilogy.

    It's set in a world where you have various deities that each are positioned on a icosahedral system of characteristics. (That sounds very weird but it's not that important now and is less complicated than it might appear.) Many of these gods are echo real-world religions.

    * This starts to look like I'm trying to discreetly push Mormon authors at you. That's not the case. I am in fact an atheist but I love fantasy that's why I'm familiar with those names which are pretty big in the fantasy community. I once was Christian for a while which is why I'm familiar with the likes of Peretti.

  • 5 months ago

    Use Buddhism and Christianity. You could make a book about the Christian 144,000... the concept in revelations. You could talk of how they are all minions of God that fight the antichrist on Armageddon! You could go wild with it and make it so the 144,000 all turn into Gods or change shape into people with wings and hooves or into glowing people With fully white eyes. Each could have a superpower that works together and they fight the monsters and everyone sees God. Then with Buddhism you can mix the concept of doing the right thing and call the 144,000 and have Buddha be one of them and blow the minds of everyone and have Jesus too!!!!

  • 5 months ago

    Sure authors can do that, plenty of them have done that.

    You just seem to be hung up on a specific theology which forbids it.

  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    Remind me never to read one of your stories.

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  • ?
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Its all fiction, so you dont have to worry about mixing genres

  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    Read the Chronicles of Narnia. It's all been done before.

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