Religion And Literature

Religion and Literature 

Religion and literature, the study of interrelation between religious traditions and literary traditions, oral or written. Religion is a big part that shapes our life, its events, socio culture parts whereas literature is a great part that influence our life and its parts. The most obvious part is you can see the literary materials at every spheres of life formed whether that be The Greek, The Indic, The Islamic, The Judeo-Christian, or the Sino-Japanese, though they consist of vast various parts but literature is wat intertwining them by thought culture, practice culture and symbolism. We might consider the role that religion plays in setting up a belief system, thought system in our lives taking up from The Book Of Ramayana purely of Hindu context to Paradise Lost to Christian context. 

But these all had been considered the talks of old age. The new term that has been taken up today’s leftists and secularists in “secularism”. Whether that be in building temple or a mosque in Ayodhya. Is it so? If the modern age is so likely to be secular then what and why are these protests going for. the work of ‘A Secular Age’ by Charles Taylor argues that secularism is not a term where the religion has gone away, but its an age in which a religion finds itself at a new place believing in each other, other than criticizing. Though this statement came into a great criticism but that context gave a vast topic to modern age to research for in religion and literature. We can only say that how bloodshed can win from peace and prosperity by building mosque, now just keeping this politics apar return to main agenda literature and religion. 

This debate on religion and literature in modern world has lead to three theoretical approach, 


Here supreme law and authority is considered God. No one, nothing lies above him. This theory was considered by Protestant Theologian Paul Tillich in 1948(The Protestant Era) which tells that God is root of all the religious sayings and all the literary contexts. According to Tillich this context deals with that part of religion and literature urges the human creation, their expressions as well as deep need to locate them. 


Here supreme authority and law is outside. This was given by T.S Elliot in 1936. According to him the norm and truth for judging the literature mingled with religion can only be found outside literature. He argued that to evaluate its greatness and value, faith must intervene. 


Here supreme authority and law is within. Developed in 1956 which argued that norms and judgements to judge a discipline must come from within a discipline. It showed that literature can’t be considered by any alien norm, there is no relationship between religion and literature. As it is not important that great literature can tied up to religion, it can contain religion or might not. 

Evidences of Religion with Literature 

Daoist rituals, Buddhist dogmas, and Confucian ethics when joined to imperial China shaped and sustained the classic forms of Chinese lyric poetry, prose, drama and plays. The Buddhist priests and their exploits in medieval Japan has provide various topics of no drama with subtle debate topics of Buddhahood. In Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism several texts have developed at various periods in an influential manner. 


The elements of this structure directly questions our belief system and the question, Is secularism is actually that what we really mean it. The society like ours which does not thinks itself as religious and gives anger provoking statements each day needs to understand the respective importance of religion and literature. That stories should be mentioned that relates us to big thought provoking questions that religion always attempts and asks to answer.

Written by
Chitrali Srivastava
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