Consider the setting of McCarthy's work as reflective of religious overtones or theme involving religion. The end of the world setting is one in which there is no hope. There is little chance of redemption and there is little chance at salvation. The setting is one in which individuals are left alone and in a forlorn state. In all of study, this becomes the ultimate test of religious faith. One can see this presence in the relationship between the father and son. This is the source of universal love and compassion that enables individuals to be different from the world around them.
McCarthy suggests that while there might be a lack of established and conventional religion in the world where the father and son live, there can be religious redemption and purpose in how human beings treat one another. The need for individuals to embrace religious teachings in a setting where organized religion is absent ends up becoming the source of salvation for human beings. The love and sense of universality that is contained within the relationship between father and son is where the presence of religious salvation exists in the text.