Religious Dystopian Novels To Read

No statement should be believed because it is made by an authority.
Robert A. Heinlein Dystopian Author Quotes#100
July 30, 2020
Thinking doesn't pay. Just makes you discontented with what you see around you.
Robert A. Heinlein Dystopian Author Quotes#101
July 31, 2020
Religious Dystopian Novels To Read

Dystopian Novels in the Religion Genre

Dystopian literature can cover a wide variety of themes, but perhaps no topic is as ripe, or controversial, as religion. Religion is an issue that sets societies apart, and can even cause conflict and war in some cases. There is something about a faith system that divides even the most developed communities.

One of the scariest settings in dystopian literature is when the society is ruled by a religious faction that goes to extreme measures to ensure iron-clad governance. This is because they view these actions as necessary or instructions from the divine.

Of course, some novels also only imply a religious context, and it is up to the reader to analyse and determine what the writer is referring to underneath it all. Nevertheless, here are just some of the more popular religious dystopian novels that may interest you if you are a fan of this particular sub-genre.

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Christian Dystopian Books

2084: The End of The World

Said to be a tribute to the Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, this piece of dystopian literature by Arab novelist Boualem Sansal tells the story of what happens when a government rules by segregation, suppression, and intimidation.

2084: The End of The World

2084: The End of the World follows Ati and his friend Koa as they discover the hidden history of the past, as well as a glimpse of what the current regime would be. However, discovery is only had the battle as they must now use this information to resist and promote change.

Rife with direct to the point religious and political discussions, 2084: The End of the World is both educational and entertaining. The book borrows bits and pieces from past and current history and sews them together to create a dark and dystopian reality that no one would ever want to live in.

Genre:  Dystopian Literature

Pages:  240

Goodreads Rating:  2.97/5.00

My Rating:  8.00/10.00 

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2084: The End of The World

The Stand

The Stand

A plague decimated over 99% of the population. The handful of survivors, after the tragedies that they have gone through, are then pulled by opposing forces for the final showdown between good and evil. Those who like post-apocalyptic scenarios will be sure to love this book by master storyteller Stephen King.

Not only do the leaders of the opposing factions represent religion, but the way by which they lead their respective communities reflect different types of government and society. One rules by democracy, while the other is totalitarian with the leader ruling with an iron fist.

After an epidemic of biblical proportions, the book weaves a fascinating tale of how humans survive and reform. How they would rebuild society and not repeat the mistakes of the past is another main plot point that makes The Stand a fascinating novel to read.

Genre:  Dystopian Literature

Pages:  823

Goodreads Rating:  4.34/5.00

My Rating:  9.50/10.00 

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The Stand

The Chrysalids

The Chrysalids

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, The Chrysalids by John Wyndham tells the story of a world that is ruled by religion. Under very strict rule, those who are deemed to be different due to mutations are killed or sterilised to keep the community pure.

However, a group of people has developed telepathy, and with this power comes the fear of being prosecuted. As such, the mutants must band together to survive and escape, clearly reflecting the time when people of certain races or beliefs were being chased down and obliterated as well.

The Chrysalids is a masterful tale that gives us an idea of what would happen if hard-edged religion overrules logic and compassion. Eugenics, puberty and adulthood, and suppression of change are also wildly present in the book.

Genre:  Dystopian Literature

Pages:  208

Goodreads Rating:  3.93/5.00

My Rating:  9.00/10.00 

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The Chrysalids

The Power

The Power

The Power by Nicole Alderman is written as a manuscript, a documentation of events that shifted society from a patriarchal design to a matrimonial one. This is due to a number of women who suddenly developed the ability to emit electricity.

As the number of women with powers grows, conflict also arises which caused women to form military forces and take over countries. As more women learned to develop their powers, so did their foothold in the world that has once been dominated by men.

Various themes such as gender equality, feminism, persecution, and religious fanaticism can be found within the book. The Power is a sign of how a shift of power can occur, and how opposing forces would go at length to ensure that it does not happen.

Genre:  Dystopian Literature

Pages:  400

Goodreads Rating:  3.82/5.00

My Rating:  8.75/10.00 

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The Power

The Children of Men

The Children of Men

The Children of Men tells the story of a world where the human race is no longer able to make babies, and humanity is on the verge of extinction. Through the imagination of author P.D. James, the story depicts a crumbling society where the last humans to be born, now adults, are almost worshipped.

Amidst civil unrest and the abolishment of democracy, the government was replaced by a council that controls its citizens and benefits only a few. A pregnancy, though, shakes up the status quo, and the birth of the baby begins to become a Messianic event.

The Children of Men provides an imagined dystopia where humans have accepted the reality that they are the last of their kind. The book also depicts events such as fertility rituals, christenings, baptism, and even mass suicide. This gives the Children of Men a more religious view despite its appearance as a post-apocalyptic political dystopia.

Genre:  Dystopian Literature

Pages:  241

Goodreads Rating:  3.68/5.00

My Rating:  8.75/10.00 

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The Children of Men

Brave New World

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is a classic dystopian city. It features a city that utilises castes that you cannot get out of, and which are determined during childhood. The government also encourages uniformity, as well as birth through artificial means.

Brave New World

Brave New World qualifies as a religious dystopia through its deification of Henry Ford, from which most of the government’s principles and policies were derived from. Some can also see John, a savage child found in a reservation that is fawned over by the public, but who desires to belong to his primitive yet innocent ways.

This novel is a classic take on totalitarian views. It has also been banned in some areas for being too controversial. Nevertheless, Brave New World is a cautionary tale on why we should never accept suppression and segregation despite its surface benefits, and how the oppressed should fight back to change to the status quo.

Genre:  Dystopian Literature

Pages:  311

Goodreads Rating:  3.99/5.00

My Rating:  9.00/10.00 

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Brave New World

The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood, and it tells the tale of the handmaid Offred one of the few remaining women who are still fertile. As such, they are forced to conceive children for the ruling class of men called the Commanders.

The Handmaid's Tale

The government ruling this version of the United States, now known as the Republic of Gilead, is purely patriarchal and utilises twisted concepts of the Old Testament in their way of ruling. With this type of setup, women are deemed as second class citizens, with whatever rights others have been much more limited for females.

While Offred’s ultimate fate is unclear, The Handmaid’s Tale provides a view of religious fanaticism, as well as one of the worst types of governments where the separation of church and state has been blurred. In this reality where other forms of religion have been banned, its effect on society is one of the darkest that you will see.

Genre:  Dystopian Literature

Pages:  311

Goodreads Rating:  4.11/5.00

My Rating:  9.25/10.00

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The Handmaid's Tale

A Canticle for Leibowitz

A Candle for Leibowitz tells the story of a world destroyed by nuclear war. In this tale by Walter M. Miller, Jr., books are destroyed and intellectuals are killed on sight. To preserve the science of the past for future generations, a group of priests known as the Albertian Order of Leibowitz made it their mission to collect and store books and writings for the future.

A Canticle for Leibowitz

The novel consists of three parts, with each of these chapters happening approximately 600 years apart. What occurs is a classic tale of history repeating itself, and often for worse. Major issues include the power of the church and technology, and how both can be used for either salvation or destruction.

A 1961 Hugo Award winner for Best Novel, A Canticle for Leibowitz is a captivating read whose story was able to transcend centuries but could still be able to engage the reader. It is a classic take on issues of censorship and how too much information can be a dangerous thing.

Genre:  Dystopian Literature

Pages:  320

Goodreads Rating:  3.98/5.00

My Rating:  9.00/10.00

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A Candle for Leibowitz

Watchmen

Watchmen, the award-winning graphic novel by Alan Moore, tells the story of a world where real superheroes exist. As such, some of the most defining moments in history, such as U.S. President Richard Nixon’s resignation, did not occur.

Watchmen

The novel follows the heroes as their flawed history and personalities are revealed. Despite being hailed as literal gods, even the most powerful among them are fallible, a fact that culminates when they find out a conspiracy that will test every moral fiber of their being.

Considered as one of the best graphic novels of our time, Watchmen covers several ethical, political, and societal issues present in the world when it was written. Many of the themes found in the book still hold true in this day and age, which is why Watchmen is still a very popular read up until now.

Genre:  Dystopian Literature

Pages:   416

Goodreads Rating:  4.36/5.00

My Rating:  9.50/10.00

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Watchmen

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Main Feature Credits: Image by SEBASTIEN MARTY from Pixabay

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Max Atlas
Max Atlas
I am Max Atlas; my only mission is to raise awareness of Dystopian fiction and share in a collective awakening. Together we will explore not only the best Dystopian Novels ever written but also new and upcoming Authors, giving future greats a platform to share their Dystopian Worlds.