Is it problematic to use Christian mythology as some of the basis for the vampire/demon lore in my urban fantasy series? I don’t mean in an “offensive to Christians” way, but more in the sense of is it affirming Christianity as “right” or “true” and being dismissive of other religions? Am I overthinking this?-Ze
Hey Ze, thanks for writing in!
The short answer is no: it’s unlikely to be offensive to anyone, Christian or otherwise, if you use Christian mythology as a basis for your urban fantasy elements. Maybe some book burning, “D&D is evil” types will get upset, but that’s just free publicity for you. The longer answer is a little more complicated, but only in specifics.
I used to be worried about exactly the same problem. I thought that if my urban fantasy story featured angels, I was saying that Christianity was “real,” while other religions weren’t. Or if I featured Odin in my story, then I was saying that only Norse mythology was real, etc.
At first, I thought the solution was to include aspects from other religions. That way, I was saying that in this setting, at least, every belief system was equally correct. However, that brings in the risk of appropriation. A lot of people have mixed feelings about their beliefs being used in fantasy stories, whereas others don’t want them used at all.
This is a sensitive enough topic that we generally recommend people not use spiritual elements from cultures they aren’t part of, unless it’s from a very privileged religion like Christianity where almost no one cares or something like Norse and Greek mythology, which are either no longer practiced or have been revived by modern adherents.
So long as your story doesn’t directly claim that Christianity is the only true belief system, you won’t have any problems. Readers either won’t think about other implications, or they’ll assume that other belief systems are also part of the world; they’re just not making an appearance.
Hope that answers your question, and good luck with your writing!