Some of us non-believers love fantasy. But it's widely known that some authors (like Tolkien and Lewis) were either writing religious metaphors or inserting somewhat religious concepts in their writings.
Do you think that detracts from their works in a any way?
I love that Tolkien, at least in part, based the fiery wastes of Mordor on the Black Country, the benighted industrial landscape close to where he lived as a boy, darkened by the incessant soot and smoke from iron foundries as late as the Seventies.
I read them, but I'm not sure they did me much good. Certainly the religious allegories never penetrated deeply beyond just a surface similarity without much to say. The conflict of good vs evil stayed with me for a long time, and I've come to believe that the tendency to typify other people as evil is the source of much suffering in human history.
In the end i think that the Buddhists are right, and that the sources of suffering are inside the human mind. You don't blame a lion for killing an antelope, but you can blame humans for taking slaves, they ought to know better.
I hope people realize that Tolkien's work is basically his modified version of Norse Mythology. Historically it has shown the belief that Christianity came from Scandinavian belief. Ancient Greek texts on parchment had ideas of "old testament" occurrences, before they were anyone else's ideas. Ancient Romans took (stole) from Scandinavia and Greek and made their own. Tolkien and Lewis knew each other they part of a 4 member social book club on campus, they would compare notes, talk about students. C.S. Lewis is Christian differences between what each one believed in shows in their work. While I have read some of their works but it's been a long time since I have. Now their complete works are in my Amazon cart.
Many religious metaphors are allegories for human concepts. The framing, whether religious, philosophical, cultural or any other context are irrelevant if the text speaks to the individual. Consequently, whether Tolkien or Marx, there will be many parallels in well executed literature.
I loved C.S. Lewis, read and reread all of the Narnia books. Can't say I'm very fond of Tolkien; read one or two and watched some of the films though. I'm also a big fan of George MacDonald who was a similarly styled contemporary of Lewis. I have no problem with religion as mythos. In these stories, the Christian mythos is much more interesting. One of my peeves about the Bible is that so much of it is flat out snoresville. I lost all respect for the writers... since they obviously didn't respect me as a reader.
The Chronicles of Narnia are reflective of Christian ideology, but Christian ideology is based on pagan ideology. When I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I see the myth of the dying and resurrecting deity from various religions.
No, their beliefs do not detract from their works.