Monday, January 2, 2012
Of Gods and Prophecy
Magical systems are often religion-based. Gods are invoked, sacrificed to, avoided at all costs and petitioned to for aid. In Finder, the "ornery desert gods" are often called upon as a curse, but there is little in the way of gods or religion in that book. Still, they are there if only implied. In A Time Never Lived, gods play a huge role in the story. The first book didn't need gods; the second book did. That's just the way it rolled. And it made me wonder...
I started wondering how others feel about this, if they think of it at all. For example--much as I loved the Narnia books as a kid, once I figured out all the Christian allegory--ugh--might as well have put worms and goop and other icky things inside for all I'd want to open them again. I'll admit--I'm agnostic on the best of days, but it's really not about being anti-religion. I love CS Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, as well, Till We Have Faces. Both of these by a super-religious writer, writing super-religious themes; so why did Narnia bug the crap out of me while the others didn't?
Anyway, before I go on and on about Lewis* and all he tried (and mostly succeeded) to do with is writing, I ask you--how do you feel about gods and religion in fiction? Does fantasy fiction need them to be authentic? Does it bother you because you are a religious person, and the notion of any other god than yours unsettles you? Do you prefer a magic system that doesn't rely on a divine presence? What books? Tell me! I'm a curious oyster by nature, and once I get to wondering, it hurts my brain until I have answers.
*I happen to LOVE CS Lewis, as a writer and also, from what I've learned, as a person. I think Jack and I would have been great friends!