m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...

Non-Christian Narnias

Via twitter: Razib at Gene Expression digresses from gene expression to the question of religion and fantasy. He manages to dig up more Jewish fantasy writers than Michael Weingrad did for his article in the Jewish Review of Books, Why There Is No Jewish Narnia:

To put it crudely, if Christianity is a fantasy religion, then Judaism is a science fiction religion. If the former is individualistic, magical, and salvationist, the latter is collective, technical, and this-worldly. Judaism’s divine drama is connected with a specific people in a specific place within a specific history. Its halakhic core is not, I think, convincingly represented in fantasy allegory. In its rabbinic elaboration, even the messianic idea is shorn of its mythic and apocalyptic potential. Whereas fantasy grows naturally out of Christian soil, Judaism’s more adamant separation from myth and magic render classic elements of the fantasy genre undeveloped or suspect in the Jewish imaginative tradition.

I’m not sure I buy any of the speculation, but the overview of fantasy literature in Israel was interesting.