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Religious books are a common material in literature. However, despite being one of the most published materials, they are also one of the most sensitive to write. Author Bevil Bramwell has written books closely related to the material’s vulnerability.
Author and oblate priest Bevil Bramwell has written five books about spirituality and religion. One of the prominent messages he conveyed in one of his books is sticking to the truth reflected in the scriptures. This intentional mistranslation had been a problem during the earlier decades. This has been given clear guidelines from the Vatican to be avoided.
While he specifically raised this issue toward scholars who contributed to translating the Bible to how it is today, this message isn’t limited to these figures alone.
Religion as Literary Source
Religious books are part of the most common materials, whether they belong in the fictional, historical, or commentary genres. In 2021 alone, books falling into the religious genre generated an estimated 705 million in sales revenue. With big publishing companies helping with the promotions and sales of these materials, this number is expected to grow annually.
With such a number of sales and religious books published, it can’t be helped being skeptical about whether these books have fallen to the mentioned issue.
With hundreds, even thousands, of books published, how many of these could have been historically incorrect or fictitious that they border blasphemy?
Accuracy in Religious Literature
Writing about such a topic can be easy for author Bevil Bramwell, given that he has studied and served the church, dedicating most of his life to religion. But for the laypeople, the typical citizen, whose exposure to religious concepts primarily comes from reading the Bible or attending church, this can be challenging.
Other than priests or ordained individuals, authors publishing under companies specializing in religious materials may also not worry about the authenticity of their writing. Commonly, these companies have editors who are well-versed in these concepts. Hence, readers can be assured of the materials’ quality.
But when it comes to self-published authors, they may or may not hire editors to make sure what they’re writing is factual or not offensive. They may publish whatever material they write about. The issue of mistranslation or misconceptions then becomes prevalent.
To uphold the holiness of God’s words, who should be given the privilege to write about religion?
Defining Religious Writers
Many authors have delved into writing about religion. Authors usually take two routes regarding religious concepts in literature.
One, they may stick to writing commentaries.
Doing this kind of material doesn’t have a powerful influence on the correctness or divinity of religious scriptures. This is because authors use these religious concepts or Biblical verses as foundations in writing their own opinions or translations. Whatever they write acts as separate material. These shouldn’t reflect how religion is or what the Bible conveys to its readers.
On the other hand, authors may also write or mix religion in their fictional books. This can get tricky for both readers and the writer.
Writers need to be extra careful about what they put in their books. Even though their worlds are entirely made up, if the depiction of religion is profane or offensive, this can be considered illegal in some countries. Not only do writers need to be thorough about avoiding this, but they also must be meticulous about copyright claims if they’re directly quoting texts or scriptures.
Writers must also consider the weight of their worlds to their readers. While it’s unfair to define the latter as susceptible, they can be influenced by what they read. Authors who talk badly about religion in their stories may also sway their readers to believe in such ideas.
Either way, these authors are responsible for ensuring that their writing isn’t offensive to any religious people reading. Regardless of what specific religion they’re following, authors must always respect their beliefs.
How Religious Books Are Written
A lot can go wrong if writers aren’t conscientious and sensitive about what they’re writing. Religion is a sensitive matter. And if one attempts to write it, it’s understandable that they’re expected to be thorough and careful about the related concepts.
When it comes to writing about religion, avoidance of blasphemy should be a top priority. Hence, anyone can write religious books, even fictional scenarios, as long as they don’t stray near blasphemous grounds. If their materials stick to the concepts and values conveyed in the Bible, even without in-depth knowledge about religion, writers can be successful in publishing religious books.