20 Of The Best Religious Fantasy Authors

Religious fantasy authors, both past and present, are a diverse group with a common thread of exploring spiritual themes through fantastical storytelling. Classic authors like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien infused their works with Christian allegory and mythology, addressing themes of morality, temptation, and redemption in “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “The Lord of the Rings,” respectively.

Contemporary writers continue this tradition while also infusing their narratives with modern sensibilities and diverse cultural perspectives. Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” delves into a world where ancient deities clash with modern beliefs, exploring the evolving nature of faith and worship in contemporary society. Similarly, N.K. Jemisin’s “The Inheritance Trilogy” incorporates elements of mythology and theology into a richly imagined world, tackling themes of power, identity, and the divine.

Major concerns of these writers often revolve around the role of faith in shaping individuals and societies, the nature of divinity and belief, and the consequences of wielding supernatural forces. What sets their novels apart within the genre is their ability to seamlessly blend religious and mythological elements with elements of fantasy, creating immersive worlds that resonate with readers while prompting deeper reflection on spiritual matters.

Here are twenty of the most popular religious fantasy writers.

John Bunyan (1628-1688): John Bunyan, though primarily known for his religious allegory “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” also made notable contributions to Christian fantasy fiction. Through the allegorical journey of Christian, Bunyan explores themes of faith, temptation, and spiritual growth, offering readers timeless insights into the Christian walk. His work has endured through centuries, inspiring readers with its vivid imagery and profound reflections on the Christian life’s challenges and triumphs.

George MacDonald (1824-1905): George MacDonald, a Scottish author and minister, is celebrated for his pioneering contributions to Christian fantasy fiction. His imaginative works, including “Phantastes” and “Lilith,” transport readers to enchanted realms where they encounter allegorical figures and wrestle with profound spiritual truths. MacDonald’s writings, infused with themes of redemption, grace, and the journey of the soul, have inspired generations of readers and influenced prominent authors such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. His unique blend of fantasy and theology continues to captivate audiences, leaving a lasting legacy in the realm of Christian literature.

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973): A masterful storyteller, J.R.R. Tolkien crafted the epic saga of Middle-earth in “The Lord of the Rings,” infusing his Christian faith into the narrative’s core. Through themes of friendship, sacrifice, and the battle against evil, Tolkien drew parallels to biblical narratives and Christian virtues. His vividly imagined world, populated by hobbits, elves, and wizards, serves as a backdrop for profound spiritual insights and moral dilemmas, inviting readers to embark on a journey of faith and self-discovery.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963): Renowned for his Christian fantasy fiction, C.S. Lewis intricately wove allegorical Christian themes into his beloved series, “The Chronicles of Narnia.” Through fantastical adventures and mythical creatures, Lewis conveyed profound theological messages, such as the sacrificial redemption exemplified by Aslan the lion. His richly imagined world of Narnia serves as a captivating backdrop to explore concepts of sin, salvation, and the nature of divinity, captivating readers of all ages with its timeless wisdom and enchanting storytelling.

Madeleine L’Engle (1918-2007): Madeleine L’Engle, a prolific author in the realm of Christian fantasy fiction, is best known for her classic work “A Wrinkle in Time” and its sequels. With her captivating storytelling and imaginative prose, L’Engle explored themes of love, faith, and the battle between light and darkness. Her works continue to inspire readers of all ages, blending elements of science fiction and spirituality into timeless tales of adventure and self-discovery.

Walter E. Mark (1937-2019): Walter E. Mark was a respected author in the Christian fantasy genre, known for his imaginative storytelling and heartfelt exploration of faith. His “Whitewood Journals” series follows the adventures of young protagonists as they navigate a world filled with magic, mystery, and spiritual warfare. Mark’s works offer readers thrilling escapades while also imparting timeless truths about the power of belief and the importance of standing firm in the face of adversity.

Stephen R. Lawhead (1950- ): Stephen R. Lawhead is a renowned author in the Christian fantasy genre, with a prolific body of work that spans decades. From his epic “Pendragon Cycle” to his more recent “Bright Empires” series, Lawhead has captivated readers with his richly imagined worlds and intricate plots. Through his storytelling prowess, Lawhead explores themes of destiny, sacrifice, and the search for meaning, offering readers thrilling adventures that resonate with spiritual depth and insight.

Donita K. Paul (1950- ): Donita K. Paul has enchanted readers with her imaginative tales of dragons, wizards, and magical realms, infused with Christian themes and values. Through series like “The DragonKeeper Chronicles,” Paul creates immersive worlds where faith and courage are tested against dark forces, ultimately triumphing through the power of love and redemption. Her works appeal to both young adult and adult audiences, offering a blend of adventure, humour, and spiritual depth that resonates with readers of all ages.

Frank E. Peretti (1951- ): Frank E. Peretti is renowned for his contributions to Christian fantasy fiction, particularly through his groundbreaking novel “This Present Darkness.” Through gripping storytelling and vivid imagery, Peretti explores spiritual warfare and the power of prayer in a modern setting, depicting a cosmic battle between angels and demons for the souls of humanity. His works resonate with readers seeking to understand the unseen forces at work in the world and the importance of faith in overcoming darkness.

Bryan Davis (b. 1958): Bryan Davis, born in 1958, is a prolific author in the realm of Christian fantasy fiction, with a talent for crafting imaginative worlds and compelling characters. His “Dragons in Our Midst” series captivates readers with its blend of fantasy, adventure, and spiritual themes, exploring the bonds of friendship and the power of redemption.

Ted Dekker (1962- ): Ted Dekker has made significant contributions to Christian fantasy fiction with his imaginative storytelling and thought-provoking themes. Known for works like “The Circle Series,” Dekker intricately weaves together elements of suspense, spirituality, and supernatural encounters, challenging readers to reconsider their perceptions of reality and the nature of good and evil. His novels delve into deep philosophical questions while maintaining a gripping narrative that keeps readers engaged until the last page.

Wayne Thomas Batson (b. 1968): Wayne Thomas Batson is a prolific author whose Christian fantasy novels have captured the imaginations of readers worldwide. Through series like “The Door Within Trilogy” and “The Dark Sea Annals,” Batson transports readers to fantastical realms where heroes battle against evil and discover the true source of courage and redemption. His works blend elements of adventure, suspense, and spiritual insight, offering readers captivating tales that inspire and entertain in equal measure.

Lisa Tawn Bergren (b. June 14, 1968): With rich world-building and intricate plots, Bergren’s works captivate audiences, blending elements of Christian theology with thrilling fantasy adventures. Through her characters’ struggles and triumphs, she conveys timeless messages of hope, redemption, and the enduring presence of divine grace. Bergren’s novels stand as a testament to the enduring appeal of Christian fantasy fiction, offering readers a glimpse into worlds where faith and imagination intertwine to illuminate eternal truths.

Jill Williamson, (b 1969): Jill Williamson is a prominent author in the Christian fantasy genre. Known for her captivating storytelling and intricate world-building, Williamson has crafted numerous acclaimed series, including the “Blood of Kings” trilogy and the “Kinsman Chronicles.” Her works often explore themes of faith, identity, and the struggle between good and evil in fantastical settings. With her engaging narratives and well-developed characters, Williamson continues to enchant readers of all ages, leaving a lasting impact on the world of Christian fantasy fiction.

N.K. Jemisin (b. 1972): N.K. Jemisin is a groundbreaking author whose works defy genre boundaries, blending elements of fantasy, science fiction, and social commentary. While not explicitly labeled as Christian fantasy, Jemisin’s novels often explore themes of power, oppression, and the search for meaning in a complex world. Her “Broken Earth” trilogy, in particular, delves into issues of spirituality and survival in a world wracked by environmental catastrophe, challenging readers to reconsider their assumptions about faith and humanity.

 Andrew Peterson (b. 1974): Andrew Peterson, born in 1974, is a multifaceted artist known for his contributions to Christian fantasy fiction through both literature and music. His “Wingfeather Saga” series has garnered widespread acclaim for its richly drawn characters, epic scope, and poignant exploration of themes like courage, sacrifice, and the search for belonging.

Dustan Stanley: (b. 1978) Dustan Stanley is a rising star in the realm of Christian fantasy fiction, known for his captivating storytelling and richly imagined worlds. Drawing from his background in theology and his love for fantastical narratives, Stanley weaves intricate tales that explore themes of faith, redemption, and the battle between good and evil.

J Suthern Hicks: J Suthern Hicks is an emerging voice in Christian fantasy fiction. Hicks is known for her ability to blend elements of myth, magic, and spirituality into compelling narratives. With works like “The Faery Trials” series, Hicks transports readers to enchanting realms where heroes embark on quests of self-discovery and redemption.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl (b. 1979): Anne Elisabeth Stengl is a celebrated author in the Christian fantasy genre, best known for her “Tales of Goldstone Wood” series. Through her intricate storytelling and vivid prose, Stengl creates immersive worlds filled with mythical creatures, magic, and richly layered allegory. Her novels delve into themes of sacrifice, redemption, and the search for identity, offering readers both enchanting adventures and profound spiritual insights.

Kristiana Sfirlea (b. 1994): Kristiana Sfirlea is a rising star in the Christian fantasy genre, known for her ability to craft immersive worlds and compelling characters. Her debut novel, “The Diamond Guard,” introduces readers to a captivating realm filled with magic, mystery, and spiritual allegory. Sfirlea’s works resonate with readers seeking both thrilling adventures and thought-provoking reflections on faith, redemption, and the power of hope.


And that’s our list of the 20 best religious fantasy authors. What’s your take on these – any surprises, or any religious fantasy writers not on this list that you feel should make the list?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *