Religion and fantasy

Rebecca Ganetzky jlynn_cmc_edu at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 23 15:41:15 EDT 2001


>I was wondering about how this influences the way you read DWJ (and other 
>fantasy). I haven't read anything DWJ has said about whether she is a 
>Christian, but on the evidence of the books I assume she's not: I can't 
>think of any of her books where the worlds she describes have any kind of 
>benevolent, omniscient and immortal supernatural figure wch might be 
>comparable to the Judeo-Christian God.

Respectfully disagreeing, that was the way I saqw the One.  It doesn't help 
that "Adon" in Hebrew is related to the word "Adonai", meaning the Jewish 
god, Oreth is vaguely related to a word meaning the same in (I think) a 
different language, although I don't know which.  (It was a look-up the 
meaning of the name, but we won't tell you how we got it book.)  and, I 
can't remember the One's other name, but iirc it also means G-d in Hebrew 
(An Israeli, or Hebrew speaker with a better memory than mine can correct 
me...)

>Do people think that they read fantasy differently if they have religious 
>beliefs? I'm about halfway through one of Charles Williams' fantasy novels, 
>_The Place of the Lion_, wch has the usual good v. evil plot, but as 
>Williams was a convinced Christian the good and evil are in this case the 
>Biblical heaven and hell - very much as in Lewis' _Out of the Silent 
>Planet_ trilogy. I'm finding the book gripping, but I wonder whether my 
>reaction to it would be different if I were a Christian. Or do we put our 
>own views of the world on hold whilst we read fantasy?

I occasionally will be upset by an overly religious book...I feel almost 
alienated, and I know others who feel the same about Lewis, and even some of 
Cooper's later books in the Dark is Rising series. Which is odd, because I 
don't usually mind blatant paganism, although I am often offended by blatant 
Judiasm in fantasy, even though I'm Jewish.  I think the question is an 
interesting one.  I personally am acutely aware of my views while reading 
any type of book, but I am not offended if a book contradicts them, but I 
sometimes get irritated if a book assumes without justification a theist 
view point.  I.e. a book about religion and philosophy will rarely bother 
me, whereas a book taking place in another universe, without G-d being 
raised as a major issue that has a Christian prayer time in it will bother 
me.  It's a very instant-specific thing.



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