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Thread: Religious fiction

  1. #1

    Religious fiction

    As science fiction is to science proper, should spiritual truths be seperated from the mythopoeic forms which frequently illustrate them? Or are religious myths a genuine art-form genre, just as science fiction?
    Last edited by trueromantic; 07-04-2009 at 05:17 PM.

  2. #2
    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    What is religious fiction? The da Vinci Code? The Seventh Scroll by Wilbur Smith? Stephen King?

    You'd need to set some parameters.
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

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  3. #3
    I would agree more with the latter. There exist appropriate places for science textbooks and religious/spiritual texts, and there exist decent places for fiction supporting, against, or making an allegory of those non-fiction works; within those religious texts, however, it seems common to read stories of religious figures, such as of Jesus, as written by the twelve Apostles. When comparing the real or fictional tales of Jesus or Moses in The Bible to religious fiction, dispararities make themselves apparent in the fact of one tale existing as the primary source, and another, whether it involves the same characters or not, as a secondary or unrelated source; most religious fiction makes some sort of allusion to its original source, The Bible, The Koran, Bhagavad Gita, The Torah, The Talmud, Tao-Te Ching, etc. Fiction exists as precisely how it sounds, as fiction, and whether it refers to something else fictional or not, it already creates some sort of rift in its composition between the primary source and itself; the two ought to never get confused, or else individuals would end up worshipping people like L. Ron Hubbard . . . oh, wait . . .
    I feel relieved you brought it up, trueromantic, because science fiction has about as much relation to science as religious fiction ought to have to religion. Science fiction carries no basis in any field of objective science, and often defies the common laws of things even as fundamental as thermodynamics; the term "science fiction," to me sounds more like an oxymoron than anything else, and I admit having never fully understood the differences between it and fantasy - things as brainless as orcs and wizards ought to seem as un/realistic a genre as intergalaxy spaceships. Michael Crichton seemed the only author who, at least, referenced sources in his science fiction, though all of his novels' plots he recognized as impossible; it seemed no surprise that he indeed worked in a scientific field as a medical doctor.
    To answer the question directly, yes, I feel that clear separations should exist between religious fiction and its elected texts, as should science fiction from every branch of objective science. I would call both an art-form only in a literary sense, not exactly Shakespeare, further explaining my idea that even more pronounced borders should exist between fiction and official texts, but different readers have different ideas and would sooner believe in Dan Brown over The Bible or Star Trek over Stephen Hawking.

  4. #4
    Coming from the sea lupe's Avatar
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    We should not forget that, according to all those who studied Hermeneutics - a very interesting branch of religious studies -, the texts of religious books such as the Bible have been modified, corrected and altered many times and in such a great depth. Sometimes, the changes are accidental (don't forget the means used at that time for the reproduction and translation of written texts), often they are done on purpose (established religious bodies have been changing the texts for many centuries, according to their interests each time).

    Therefore, although these texts can be based on historical events, they have gone so far from these actual events, that they are more fiction than anything else. This is of course quite clear when we look to all the "miracles" and other "supernatural" details in this texts, that have been added obviously for reasons other than historical.
    ...As a moth mistakes a bulb
    for the moon, and goes to hell...


    -Tom Waits-

  5. #5
    Circumcised Welder El Viejo's Avatar
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    Religious Fiction

    I'm not sure what problem we're trying to solve here. Are L. Ron Hubbard/Tim LaHaye books showing up in the Religion section at B&N while Niven and Asimov are absent from the Science section?

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