Pious fiction

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A pious fiction is a narrative that is presented as true by the author, but is considered by others to be fictional albeit produced with an altruistic motivation. The term is sometimes used pejoratively to suggest that the author of the narrative was deliberately misleading readers for selfish or deceitful reasons. The term is often used in religious contexts, sometimes referring to passages in religious texts.


Religious context[edit]

Other contexts[edit]

  • Fredrick Pike describes some morale-boosting efforts during the Great Depression as pious fictions.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Borras, Judit, Jewish Studies at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, BRILL, 1999, p 117: ".. the overwhelming consensus of modern scholarship is that the conquest tradition of Joshua is a pious fiction composed by the deuteronomistic school …"
  2. ^ Stanley, Christopher, The Hebrew Bible: A Comparative Approach, Fortress Press, 2009, p 123: "Minimalists begin with the fact that the Hebrew Bible did not reach its present form until well after the Babylonian exile … most the that the story was formulated by a group of elites who wanted to justify their claims to dominate … In other words, the narrative [of the Hebrew Bible] is a pious fiction that bears little relation to the actual history of Palestine during the period it purports to narrate."
  3. ^ Carson, D. A. For the Love of God: A Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God's Word, Good News Publishers, 2006, p 19: "Many critics doubt that the account of Daniel 4 is anything more than pious fiction to encourage the Jews."
  4. ^ Skousen, Royal, The Book of Mormon: the earliest text, Yale University Press, 2009, p x: "Outsiders generally consider this book [the Book of Mormon] a nineteenth-century hoax or pious fiction …"
  5. ^ Berkey, Jonathan P. (2008). The formation of Islam : religion and society in the Near East, 600-1800 ([Online-Ausg.] ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 286. ISBN 978-0-521-58813-3. 
  6. ^ Crone and Cook, Patricia and Michael (1980). Hagarism: the Making of the Islamic World. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 277. ISBN 978-0-521-29754-7. 
  7. ^ Luxenberg, Christoph (2007 (English edition)). The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran: a Contribution to the Decoding of the Language of the Koran. Verlag Hans Schiler. p. 349. ISBN 978-3-89930-088-8.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ Brown, Jonathan (2011). The Canonization of al-Bukhari and Muslim: the Formation and Function of the Sunni Hadith Canon. Brill Academic Publishers. p. 431. ISBN 978-90-04-21152-0. 
  9. ^ Crone and Cook, Patricia and Michael (1980). Hagarism: the Making of the Islamic World. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 277. ISBN 978-0-521-29754-7. 
  10. ^ Eickelman , Dale, Muslim politics, Princeton University Press, 2004, p 26: "Emendations and additions to purportedly invariant and complete Islamic law (sharia) have occurred throughout Islamic history…. Muslim jurists have rigorously maintained the pious fiction that there can be no change in divinely revealed law, even as they have exercised their independent judgment (ijtihad) to create a kind of de facto legislation."
  11. ^ Scripting Jesus: The Gospels in Rewrite - L. Michael White - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  12. ^ Top 20 football chants (2006-12-21). "How December 25 became Christmas Day... - Features, Unsorted". Independent.ie. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ Pike, Fredrick, FDR's Good Neighbor Policy: sixty years of generally gentle chaos, University of Texas Press, 1995, p 79:
    "In the Depression era, a great many Americans, north and south of the border, succumbed to the pious fiction that underlay the Krausist-Areilist-Marxist nonmaterial rewards aspect of good neighborliness… Without the occasional seasoning of pious fictions, concocted by intellectuals who in their delusions of grandeur try to introduce elements of dream live into crude reality, might not the real world be a far more vicious jungle than it is?"