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Avoiding Comparisons with a Real World Religion:
edited 18th Jun '13 9:19:23 AM by TheMuse
Who Am I?That could describe almost anything, anywhere in the world. Of course, your descriptions are very vague, without any description of specific religious practices, readers will probably project whatever religion they are most familiar with.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
Don't Fear the SpidersThe Calormen were not Muslim. Arab, yes, and there is an argument for racial insensitivity in the books, but they believed in made-up gods Lewis invented - not a counterpart to Allah. Although they played the part of villains in many of the books, they were often shown to be misguided over evil. C.S. Lewis was a famous apologist who took his faith in Christianity very seriously, and although he did say there may be truth in other religions, why would he claim any other religion to have equal legitimacy to Christianity? As for your fictional religion, I do see some parallels with some religious values and subsequent hypocrisies but there's nothing actually religious in this society as you describe. Where do they believe they got their way of life from? Are they polytheistic? Monotheistic? Other? What rites and rituals are associated with this religion? What is their traditional background? Who watches over the religion? How old is the religion? How integrated is the religion with history? Questions you might want to think about. Or, to prevent world-builders-disease, answer the three you find most important and write a few scenes for your story where religion plays a role.
Keep it breezy!
They're kind of a monotheistic religion, but if you really examined it, it'd be more similar to something like Pantheism.
...can still biteWhat you've told us so far is too vague to really be compared to any specific religion.
Oh, okay. Good
Other than to mention it in passing, why would you want to write about a religion that is poorly developed? And why are you so concerned with Unfortunate Implications? Don't you have the right to tell the story you want to tell? There is no way to create a fictional religion that does not have some resemblance to a real one. If it's a monotheistic religion, it's similar to the abrahamic traditions; if it's monotheistic its similar to hinduism or mahayana buddhism; if it's atheistic or pantheistic or shamanistic or animistic or any other category, it will have enough of a resemblance to reality that someone is going to decide that you're talking about their favorite or least favorite religion. I think we should encourage each other to be true to our art because who else is going to tell the story you want to? I can't. Bob can't. Charlotte can't. Only you can. You owe it to yourself to show us what your characters are experiencing and if religion is important it should be thoroughly fleshed out, even if it ends up looking like an expy of a real one; if however, religion is unimportant, then it shouldn't be explored in the story because what bearing does it have on the characters? I hope I was helpful.
Winter is coming.
This isn't the entirety of the aspects of the religion. I just posted the bare bones, just to make sure if their were any GLARING problems with it. I even plan on dping more worl dbuilding with this.
Elvenkingfor my W.I.P., i just got around that problem by having all worshiped gods existing, so there's no 'true religion', and tried to balance their flaws. my ancient Egypt-ottoman Turk based culture has a religion obsessed with death, they worship a grim reaper figure. this figure isn't evil or good, and they don't do human sacrifice or anything Obviously Evil (probably because they're not the villains), but the gods aren't exactly like the ones described by humans. they all want worship, and are willing to fudge their feats a bit to gain worship, and only a few really old characters (who were involved in a brutal war against the gods) know that they're not all paragons of virtue, fitting the Nay-Theist trope, and it turns out that the belief in all religions has a name; Omnism. in terms of your work though, just have your characters respect/ be influenced by all religions they encounter equally
maybe have them be different from what their worshippers think they are.
so much to do, and yet... here, it feels like one cannot do anything but lie here and sleep forever.
This is a title.Said it before and I say it again. If you spend all your time worrying about who you might offend you'll never get anything done. Write what feels right for the setting and if other people project "MUSLIMS ARE EVIL!" onto it, then fie on them. Haters gonna hate. P.S. Deliberate Values Dissonance. Not Intentional. :)
edited 16th Apr '13 1:10:42 PM by Eagal
The madness is catching.
I have a question that I think may be applicable to this thread (I hate starting threads to ask simple question). I got a story with a religious organization, basically a church. This church is suppose to be large, influential, ancient and "Western" (as in European). I thought I could convey these traits by prompting a comparison between it and the Catholic Church. However, the religion doesn't have the same symbols (crosses, angels, popes, etc.) or ideology of the Catholic church. So how can I make it so the audience looks at this organization and think "they must be like the Catholic Church"? Any ideas? I should probably point-out that I'm not trying to make them seem good or bad. More like "intimidating but benevolent".
Maybe describe them as worshiping in large, lavishly decorated churches? Other little things like perhaps using wine in religious ceremonies, or use beaded jewelry to pray (rosaries) could work as well if you're trying to envoke Does This Remind You of Anything?. (I say this as a person who was raised around Catholocism) Lots of statues of holy people/gods/whatever could work too.
edited 22nd Apr '13 6:38:30 PM by TheMuse
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