The key difference between religious and secular literature is that the religious literature has its base on religion whereas the secular literature has no base in religion.
The two terms religious and secular are opposing terms. Thus, secular literature refers to the opposite of religious literature. In fact, most modern literary works fall into the category of secular literature.
What is Religious Literature?
Religious literature basically refers to the collection of literary work based on religion. Religious beliefs and traditions are a main theme or concept in religious literature. In the west, the term religious literature refers to books based on Christian principles. However, religious literature in the east is based on different religions such as Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.
Since religion played a very important aspect in the social and intellectual lives of people in the past (during the medieval era, Renaissance, etc.) almost all literature during this period are based on religious principles. Religious writers produced various genres of works such as poetry, essays, and stories.
Life of Christ by Ludolph of Saxony, Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Mahābhārata, Ramayana, and vedhas (in Hinduism) are some examples of religious literature.
What is Secular Literature?
The term ‘secular’ typically means not connected with religious or spiritual matter. Thus, the term secular literature refers to the opposite of religious literature, i.e., literature not based on religion. Thus, it is not rooted in religious beliefs, traditions and practices. Basically all genres of literature that does not have a religious base fall under the broad category of secular literature. Fantasy novels, science fiction, mysteries, romantic poetry, etc. – all these fall under non-religious literature or secular literature.
Secular literature can refer to any literary work that has no significant base on religion. Great literary works by authors such as Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Hemingway, and Dickens are some examples of secular literature.
What is the Difference Between Religious and Secular Literature?
The main difference between religious and secular literature is their connection to religion. Religious literature has a base in religion whereas secular literature does not have a religious base. Thus, religious literature contains religious beliefs, traditions and practices while secular literature does not. Bible, Buddhist Tripitaka, Quran are some examples of religious literature. However, most literary works fall under the category of secular literature.
Summary – Religious vs Secular Literature
The principle difference between religious and secular literature is their base on religion. Religious literature refers to literature that includes religious beliefs, traditions and practices while secular literature is the opposite of it.