Fantasy and Belief
Alternative Religions, Popular Narratives, and Digital Cultures
Routledge – 2013 – 224 pages
Series: Approaches to New Religions
Religion and spirituality are being transformed in our late modern and secularising times. New forms of belief proliferate, often notable for not being limited to traditional systems of reference or expression. Increasingly, these new religions present worldviews which draw directly upon popular culture - or occulture - in fiction, film, art and the internet. Fantasy and Belief explores the context and implications of these types of beliefs through the example of the Otherkin community. The Otherkin are a loosely-affiliated group who believe themselves to be in some way more than just human, their non-humanity often rooted in the characters and narratives of popular fantasy and science fiction. Challenging much current sociological thinking about spirituality and consumption, Fantasy and Belief reveals how popular occulture operates to recycle, develop, and disseminate metaphysical ideas, and how the popular and the sacred are combining in new ways in today's world.
Introduction 1. Religion, Occulture and the Modern World 2. The Otherkin 3. Fantasy and ReEnchantment 4. The Internet and Popular Cultures Conclusion Appendix: Glossary; Otherkin Questionnaire Results Bibliography Index
Danielle Kirby is Lecturer in Communication at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.