The Unique Ancient Christian Perspective in Fiction Writing

santorini sunset with church

In our Western world, we are accustomed to works by Christian authors of the Protestant and Catholic faith communities, but we’re lacking a voice for the rich and beautiful traditions of Eastern Orthodox (Greek, Russian, Romanian, Serbian, etc.) Christian faith in the fiction publishing realm and bookstores.

This reality struck me in the past two months, but only compelled me to the point of writing about it today.  Readers could learn so many fascinating aspects of the Orthodox Christian culture, traditions, and way of life with access to these writers’ works present in the fiction writing arena in the United States, especially.

I guess it was only natural that I, being an Orthodox Christian, would come to this realization eventually.  I only wonder if any of my Orthodox Christian brethren have thought about this and wished there were fiction books out there that delved into the traditions and beliefs of their own.

theophany cross dive

As a rather new writer in the past three years (coming back to writing after a nearly eighteen-year hiatus…you can read my writing history in a few of my previous blog posts, like my blog post “A Lifelong Dream Unfolding”), I’m still trying to get down the skills of writing, grasping good plot, and character development, but I felt compelled to share my thoughts.

You see, we Orthodox Christians don’t really fit into the tight guidelines of the evangelical Christian publishing, or completely in Catholic publishing.  Our beliefs are a bit different from the Western mindset, and our traditions are unique.  Wouldn’t it nice to have a venue to share these types of stories with you readers out there?  Maybe readers would find the cross dives done in a body of water nearest to a community’s church, why we make St. Basil’s bread, wear prayer rope bracelets, fast, wear crowns/stefana at our weddings, or wear wedding bands on our right ring fingers intriguing.  These traditions and beliefs may be refreshing interwoven in a fiction novel of a character of Eastern Orthodox faith.

stefana marriage crowns

While googling Orthodox Christian fiction writers, I found one from 2011 under a Facebook friend’s website.  With regards to fantasy (which is the genre of the story in the link), in my own personal opinion, I’ve not really been into fantasy about people with supernatural powers because they already truly exist in those who become holy in Christ–Saints.  There are plenty of stories of them in the Orthodox Christian world, but hardly known in the United States, my home country.  Incidentally, Ancient Faith Publishing has started accepting women’s fiction and other fiction by Eastern Orthodox Christians, and I hope other publishing companies follow…at least a few…because it gives us EOCs an outlet for our work.  🙂

I believe opening up this Eastern Orthodox Christian mindset in the Western World’s fiction publishing world would add a unique, fresh, profound, and brilliant expression of Christianity that’s so needed.

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14 thoughts on “The Unique Ancient Christian Perspective in Fiction Writing

  1. You are so right…the few fiction books I have read that include elements of the Orthodox faith are mostly about Greeks who, oh by the way, happen to be Orthodox. Robert Kranz’s movie “Do You Wanna Dance” was a wonderful marriage of the Orthodox faith and a story of love and community. But, of course…Greek! I don’t know if it was ever released as a book. Google doesn’t bring up anything but the movie.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a writer who s a Christian, I tend to shy away from mainstream Christian fiction reads, which come across as preachy at times, and out of touch with readers. I like crafting characters whose faith intersects with real life. I think it is great you are searching for new perspective to the Christian fiction genre.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi, Julieanne. I agree with you. I don’t care for overt Christian fiction because it does come off just as you said. Because I come from a different Christian tradition that doesn’t tend to write in a “preachy” way, I look forward to sharing my works when they get published. Incidentally, I have been told that one of my stories that went through a critique group of varied religious backgrounds (and some who aren’t religious) that my story didn’t feel like I was shoving my faith down their throats. So that was good. lol Thanks for your reply, and I’m glad to know you write along the same veins as I do. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. As a Christian fiction writer myself, I enjoy stories that also include many Christian themes. I would love to delve more into the history of Orthodox Christianity in fiction, and I have read several books by Christian author with varying amounts of references to the Christian faith. I have often found that Christian inspiration books that, to some agnostic or non-religious people may sound preachy or dogmatic, they sound “fake” or insincere to me as a Christian. Not that they are bad, but they lack the depth that one would expect.
    This is a really inspiring post and keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, I agree. Of course, as you said, some people will think any Christian message will sound overly religious or “preachy,” but I do think there are more subtle ways to do that. Do I manage that well? I’m not sure. Although my debut novel is actually about a woman rediscovering her faith and understanding it where she hadn’t truly before, so it is not meant to be a subtle message woven into the story as one of my other books I’m writing is. But it also tends to differ on what someone thinks is too religious or preachy. In any case, thank you for your insightful response and kind words. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I have it written on my heart to start a women’s book club at my GOC church. I am attempting to compile a list of women Orthodox Christian writers and writings of and on women saints. I am having a bit of a struggle finding contemporary Orthodox Christian women published authors to add to my list. Any recommendations? I will be eternally grateful. Your sister in Christ, Angelica

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Angelica! Thanks so much for stopping by and reading my post. 🙂

      I feel your pain. I have made this lack of contemporary Orthodox Christian women’s fiction published books known to publisher, Ancient Faith Publishing. They are looking for fiction as of the beginning of this year. I submitted my novel, Passage of Promise, and was told it has promise (haha) and to resubmit after working more on the development of the story. This was back in March/April. I’m still working on fine tuning the book. I also have a novella that is inspirational women’s fiction from an Orthodox Christian perspective that I finished the first draft in January of this year and am in the revising stage.

      I’m sorry that I don’t have any information on Orthodox Christian women published authors in the women’s fiction or romance area. I know there are children’s books and teen/young adult books written by an Orthodox woman, but that is all.

      When my book(s) is published, I’ll announce it, of course, on here, and perhaps you’ll be able to use it for your new book club? I’d be honored!

      Liked by 1 person

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