The Top Religions of Science Fiction and Fantasy

37 MinutesHow do SF&Fwriters build worlds? Often they use things that are common to us all, but with a little twist. How do some of the great SF&F writers fit in a religion in one of their worlds? Observe

10. The Catholic Church as a cult. Fritz Leiber describes this turn of events in his book, Gather, Darkness!

Gather Darkness

9. The world that Stephen Donaldson describes in his Thomas Covenant series. The beginning book Lord Foul’s Bane begins a long, harrowing quest that extends nine books. The religion is part of a rich history and excellent world-building.

The Thomas Covenant Series

8. The Church of Scientology as founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. The Mr. Hubbard’s ideas were supported and encouraged by John W. Campbell, Jr. of Astounding Stories, one of the great magazines in the Science Fiction genre.


7. Nordic religion revisited and updated in Norse Code by Gregg Van Eehout.

Norse Code

6. One of the best all-time science fiction stories of all times “The Nine Billion Names of God” by Arthur C. Clarke. It’s a meeting of an ancient religion with modern technology.

The Nine Billion Names of God

5. Is the “Seldom Plan” a religion? Is something that is followed a religion? Ask Isaac Asimov.

The Foundation Series

4. J. R. R. Tolkien’s world in the Lord of the Rings trilogy is not an in-your-face religious experience. Yet one can almost understand that goblins, trolls and wraiths called to serve Saur on as an anti-religion approach. The worship of the floating eye is quite prevalent throughout the books.

3. The plot of The Fifth Element is about the fruition of a coming “Perfect Being” as a one to save the world.

The Fifth Element

2. The weird “Weirding Way” religion found in Dune by Frank Herbert.


1. Star Wars, The “Force” is undoubtedly the most quoted SF&F religion ever.

Star Wars
The latest Force Expression

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3 Responses to The Top Religions of Science Fiction and Fantasy

  1. Scott Roche says:

    Nice list! Dune is one of the more interesting ones. I also like how Dan Simmons handles religions in the Hyperion books.

  2. Pingback: Geek Media Round-Up: November 8, 2011 – Grasping for the Wind

  3. Dama says:

    I agree with Scott above. I’m very surprised not to see Dan Simmons on the list.

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