Jewish Fantasy Writing

Why no Narnia for Jewish Writers?  Reviews of Lev Grossman et al.

an excerpt:

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. Let us take two central examples: the magical world and the idea of evil.

I find this interesting for several reason--chief amongst them was that I was reflecting on how we've lost the sense (if it ever properly existed) of salvation as a communal experience--the Exodus--and replaced it with a very protestant Pilgrim's Progress sense of  how it works.  Paul spent much of his writing talking about how we are all one body--but most of us today don't get the concept--mystical body of Christ--what's that.  Because, it would seem to imply, if we are all one body, then we are more intrinsically responsible for one another because the body must depend on all its parts.  True, Christ said, "If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out"  so there is room for expulsion.  But how can we do that when we're never properly inCORPORated.  Ah, another tangent--I really must learn not to do that--but tangents are so much more interesting than chords.


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