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Topic: Question about Stephen Lawhead

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Subject: Question about Stephen Lawhead
Date Posted: 4/9/2011 9:31 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,726
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I've never read any of his books, which is pretty amazing, considering how much raving goes on here about him. laugh  

My question is: Is he a "Christian" author?  One of my patrons asked me this, and I honestly didn't know how to answer.  He is published by Thomas Nelson, which is a Christian publisher.  But do Lawhead's novels have a strong Christian element to them, or are they 'just' historical fiction?

Date Posted: 4/9/2011 10:23 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,035
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Vicky, I would characterize him as "a Christian who writes historical fiction."  The only books of his that I have read are the King Raven Trilogy.  Observant readers may notice the lack of curse words and sex in the stories.  There are mostly vague references to God and faith, but there is also a bit of the supernatural in the character of Angharad.  I thought his Christianity showed most obviously through his treatment of Tuck.  I think in most Robin Hood stories, Tuck is treated as a man of the cloth in name only....the fat jolly friar stealing and drinking and carousing along with the rest of them.  Lawhead's Tuck is still fat and jolly and provides a lot of the comic relief in the books, but he also grows in maturity, character and faith throughout the trilogy and by the last book, he has truly assumed the role of the spiritual leader of the group.  He dispenses some "spiritual" advice, but it's not overpowering or intrusive to the story at all.  He is my favorite character in the trilogy and the last book, Tuck, is my favorite. 

Date Posted: 4/9/2011 12:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
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I read the first three of the Arthur books. In terms of it being "Christian", I would compare it to Tolkien and Lewis fantasies. If you know it and are looking for it, you can see the Christian influence, but it's not overt. But he does take the Christianizing of Britian seriously and he casts it in a mostly nuetral to faintly positive light. More matter of factly, than anything else. Not in any way preachy or trying to persuade. And a most interesting blend of Celtic and Christian, at that. What struck me is that almost everything else that's been written of that time during the past few decades has portrayed the spread of Christianity in either a negative light or at best a cynical one. I found Lawhead's approach quite interesting and fresh.
Date Posted: 4/9/2011 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,438
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I agree with Christa's assessment of the Raven trilogy.  I also read Byzantium by Lawhead and it has a very positive picture of Christianity.


Date Posted: 4/9/2011 4:50 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,726
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Not in any way preachy or trying to persuade.


I think this is what she was looking for.  She loves HF, but doesn't want to be preached to (or at, whatever the case may be).  I think she would like his books, based on your comments.

Thanks ladies!  I knew I could count on this group!  Y'all make me look like a SuperLibrarian.  wink

Date Posted: 4/10/2011 7:38 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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If you know it and are looking for it, you can see the Christian influence, but it's not overt.


I remember reading that Lawhead had cancer as a young man. He apparently got very sick. He began exploring Christianity seriously at that time.

In any event, I've never been put off by it in his stories. I think it's very low-key.