Up Close and (un)Conventional
Welcome to this week’s Up Close and (un)Conventional. This is where I discuss both things that have to do with reading and blogging, and things that just have to do with life in general. This week, I’m going to discuss religion in books. Last week, I posted my review for Tiffany Reisz’ The Night Mark, and Lily @ Night Owl Book Café had a very good comment that made my brain take completely off, and voilà, I have a discussion post 🙂 What Lily commented was that Reisz usually includes religion in her stories. And this is definitely true. However, nobody can be as far from preachy as Reisz, is, I think.
Take her Original Sinners series, for example, where one of the main characters in a Catholic priest. One who is supposed to be celibate, live a clean and orderly life. That’s not exactly how I’d describe Søren, though. But I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read this series yet, so I’ll keep it at that. Reisz actually uses her religion, and the scripture, to point out how it’s possible to interpret the bible in a different way than the church and its priests do today. And I actually love that about her books, because I think religion is a very big part of (my own, at least) culture and history, and thus it is interesting to see another angle when it comes to all things religious.
Tara Lain is another author who does religion really well! Most of her stories include LGBT+ characters, and some of them know their bible and their scriptures. I find it eye-opening when authors include a positive view, even of the characters that some people use their Christianity to condemn. Lain’s stories are beautiful, and if you haven’t checked them out yet, you should.
I have read stories where religion was used differently, though. And when the tone becomes preachy, and I feel like the characters are trying to convert me, I’m not really happy with my story. I understand that some authors feel like sharing their religion is a calling. And I have read some incredibly good Christian romances, so I’m not against that at all. However, I already have my belief system, and I think I can’t really adhere to any religion fully. So if a story is preachy and tries to get me to become something I am not, and refuse to be, it won’t really work for me.
Have you encountered religion in your books? Was it preachy? Different? Did you enjoy it? Do you think religion has a place in fiction? Please share your thoughts.