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Livin' on a Prayer

So, despite my critique 2 posts ago (Total Eclipse of the Heart), I saw Eclipse last night. It was great! I absolutely loved the interpretation of the book. Seeing your favorite scenes outside your own head and on a movie screen is truly amazing. Especially when the director does it justice. I even think they portrayed the characters a bit more flattering than how they’re written. Bella is strong, and Jacob is much less obnoxious.

I loved seeing more of Jasper- he is a great character who gets more of a spotlight in this film. Plus, there are those intense moments between Bella and Jacob. Classic. Next- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1! Plus a little visit to HP Land to get the excitement going wouldn’t hurt either. 😉

Blurry pic from last night! My bestie and I are ready for the vampire adventures!

Blurry pic from last night! My bestie and I are ready for the vampire adventures!

Midnight showing of New Moon from last year! Me, Kelli and Jen burning through our caffeine rush.

Midnight showing of New Moon from last year! Me, Kelli and Jen burning through our caffeine rush.

After seeing Eclipse– I got to thinking about spirituality in popular fiction (sounds like a thesis paper, right?). I would say the Twilight series certainly has allusions to a “higher power.” With all the talk of losing souls and saving souls and getting into heaven, I think the reference is pretty clear. Plus, the Harry Potter books have references all over the place: Harry comes back from the dead to save the world from an a being that is pure evil. …Sound familiar to anyone?

Many novels have some type of mono- or polytheistic religions. There’s usually a comment like, “Curse the gods” or some mention of a character honoring one god over another. Or, some books even have an Avatar-esque type of religion- connecting to a source or combined power.

I just find it extremely interesting that in a society that is so doubtful and skeptical of God that this concept somehow finds its way into fiction. I certainly don’t think spirituality is a part of every novel, but it seems a few novels that I’ve read have a religious allusion of some kind.

It seems that in fiction where anything is possible, like magic, mythical creatures and legends-come-to-life that the idea of a god-like being is easier to accept. What would novels be without some type of unseen force guiding the characters, shaking up the normal course of events or acting as the other-worldly knowledge or intuition that characters listen to? But, why bother with a god/being/supernatural force?

As my middle school history teacher used to explain- religion explains the unexplainable. Authors can cleverly use whatever god they want to force their characters to alter their course or change a decision or do any other crazy thing that doesn’t make sense by using the supernatural.

God is used as a plot twist. In some novels, the role of a god is more meaningful than in others. Like books about a priestesses or spiritual devotees, but I find any use of the spiritual to be particularly interesting because I think it reflects something about the author’s view or society’s view in general of faith.

This is just my observation on religion in fiction. It does not reflect how I view my personal faith in God- which is much stronger than viewing God as a plot twist. 🙂 My beliefs are summed up nicely here at my church’s Web page: Summit Church. Although most novels’ representation of their gods is much, much different than my own, I still enjoy reading them. Just like some of you may disagree with my beliefs, but I hope you will continue to read my blog… 🙂

What do you think about religion in novels? How have you seen faith function in books? Are you bothered by seeing gods/forces in books?

UP NEXT: Review of First Truth by Dawn Cook. P.S. I hate, hate, hate this new cover. Ick! Goldilocks much?

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.