According to Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars: Episode VI -- Return of the Jedi- 1983), 'truth' is simply a state of mind. With this in mind, is religion of any sort meaningless unless it has some personal resonance? Can religions therefore be based on fictional constructs?
In 'Fiction-based religion: Conceptualising a new category against history-based religion and fandom' published in Culture and Religion, Markus Altena Davidsen explores new religious movements inspired by popular fiction such as Star Wars-based Jediism and the Tolkien-inspired Elven community. He seeks to ask whether fiction-based religions should be accepted as conventional religions or dismissed as mere fandom.
Davidsen compares the opinions of Jean Baudrillard and Adam Possami concerning 'hyper-real religions' in order to explore what it says about contemporary religion that many believers are now more comfortable basing their religious activity on fiction rather than on conventional and 'historical' religious narratives.
This article is a fascinating insight into the significance of invented religions in everyday reality.
- Markus Altena Davidsen. Fiction-based religion: Conceptualising a new category against history-based religion and fandom. Culture and Religion, 2013; 14 (4): 378 DOI: 10.1080/14755610.2013.838798
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