Christian poetry is any poetry that contains Christian teachings, themes, or references. The influence of Christianity on poetry has been great in any area that Christianity has taken hold. Christian poems often directly reference the Bible, while others provide allegory.
Christian Literature is writing that deals with Christian themes and incorporates the Christian world view. This constitutes a huge body of extremely varied writing.
Scripture While falling within the strict definition of literature, The Bible is not generally considered literature. However, the Bible has been treated and appreciated as literature; the King James Version in particular has long been considered a masterpiece of English prose, whatever may be thought of its religious significance. Several retellings of the Bible, or parts of the Bible, have also been made with the aim of emphasising its literary qualities.
Christian allegory Allegory is a style of literature having the form of a story, but using symbolic figures, actions, or representations to express truths – Christian truths, in the case of Christian allegory. Beginning with the parables of Jesus, there has been a long tradition of Christian allegory, including Dante Alighieri 's Divine Comedy and John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress.
Christian fiction is sometimes harder to define than Christian non-fiction. Christian themes are not always explicit. Some Christian fiction, such as that of C.S. Lewis, draws on the allegorical writings of the past. There can also be argument as to whether the works of a Christian author are necessarily Christian fiction. For example, while there are undoubted Christian themes within J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, many might not consider this to be a work of Christian fiction. Other possible examples of Christian fiction include the works of G. K. Chesterton and George Macdonald.
In the last few decades the existence of a Christian subculture, particularly in North America, has given rise to a specific genre of Christian novel, written by and for Christians of a particular type (i.e., conservative Evangelical Protestants), and generally with explicit Christian themes. Unlike the works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, such novels are often marketed exclusively to Christians and sold in Christian bookshops. The Christy Awards honour excellence in this genre.
In the late 20th century, with the rise of the Christian Right in American society, Christian-themed fiction has thrived. Examples include the works of Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins, Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, Tosca Lee, Randy Alcorn, Francine Rivers, Wayne Thomas Batson, and Janette Oke.
Within the field of Christian fiction smaller niche markets have emerged aimed at specific denominations, notably Catholic fiction and Latter Day Saints Fiction. There are also Christian fiction that is aimed at wider mainstream audiences, such as the best selling Left Behind series.
This article provides an overview of religious themes in science fiction.
Science fiction (SF) works often present explanations, commentary or use religious themes to convey a broader message. The use of religious themes in the SF genre varies from refutations of religion as primitive or unscientific, to creative explanations and new insights into religious experience and beliefs as a way of gaining new perspectives to the human condition (e.g. gods as aliens, prophets as time travelers, metaphysical or prophetic vision gained through technological means, etc.).
As an exploratory medium, SF rarely takes religion at face value by simply accepting or rejecting it, though a simple rejection does tend to be the more common bias, particularly in golden age authors like Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, but even among these this refutation is only general, not universal. As with many topics in SF, when religious themes are presented they tend to be investigated very deeply. Since the genre of SF often deals with humanity’s understanding of itself in the face of great technological and social change—some SF grapples with questions of a spiritual or religious nature.
In addition to considering theological or philosophical or ideologies directly or indirectly from a religious context, some fiction deals with these topics as portraying real religions such as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Bahá'í Faith - see LDS fiction and Bahá'í Faith in fiction.