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Invented Religions: Imagination, Fiction and Faith (Repost)

Posted By: nebulae
Invented Religions: Imagination, Fiction and Faith (Repost)

Carole M. Cusack, "Invented Religions: Imagination, Fiction and Faith"
English | 2010 | ISBN: 0754667804 | 192 pages | PDF | 3 MB

This book investigates four religious movements founded in the West which are intentionally fictional: Discordianism, the Church of All Worlds, the Church of the Sub-Genius, and Jediism. Utilising contemporary scholarship on secularisation, individualism, and consumer capitalism, this book explores these groups as reactions against the religious marketplace of the 1950s and 1960s. Their continued appeal and success, principally in America but gaining wider audience through the 1980s and 1990s, is chiefly as a result of underground publishing and the internet. This book deals with immensely popular subject matter: Jediism developed from George Lucas' Star Wars films, one of the highest grossing film franchises in history and the source and butt for countless pop-culture references and jokes. Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, founded by 26-year-old student Bobby Henderson in 2005 as a protest against the teaching of Intelligent Design in schools. Discordianism and the Church of the Sub-Genius retain very strong followings and participation rates among University/College students, particularly at campus events, due to their subversive bent. The environmental focus of the Church of All Worlds sees it finding itself a centre of attention due to its focus on Gaia theology. The groups' continued successes provide a unique opportunity to explore the nature of late/postmodern religious forms, including the use of fiction as part of a bricolage for spirituality, identity-formation, and personal orientation.