I’ve decided to start a series of posts discussing how to go about designing the religious and spiritual aspects of your fantasy world. I am sorry I don’t have a clear syllabus to present right now, as this is a rather impromptu project and I’m not entirely sure of everything I will cover. However, here’s some of the questions I know I’m interested in:

  1. How the metaphysical realities of the world are the same or different from what the people in the world think they are, e.g. are the gods rea?
  2. If the gods are real, how active are they in the lives of mortals?
  3. How is religion different from spirituality?
  4. The relationship between magic and miracles.
  5. How is religion codified and enforced?
  6. How do different metaphysical, religious and spiritual traditions interact within the setting?
  7. How do invented religions and spiritualities reflect the author’s own understanding of these concepts in the real world?
  8. Best practices for inventing religious practices, paraphernalia, iconography, architecture, etc.
  9. Myths and other stories that surround religion, metaphysics and spirituality.
  10. How to avoid cultural appropriation when inventing new religions.

I expect there will be more, and I’m happy to take suggestions if anyone has a particular topic they’d like to discuss. Just leave a comment below!

Along the way, I’m going to be inventing a new fantasy religion of my own. I haven’t got a particular culture or setting in mind to attach it to, so it ought to be a fun exercise to pursue — exactly what I need to rev up both the critical and creative sides of my brain. I hope you’ll join me!

The series so far:

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