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:
- 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?
- If the gods are real, how active are they in the lives of mortals?
- How is religion different from spirituality?
- The relationship between magic and miracles.
- How is religion codified and enforced?
- How do different metaphysical, religious and spiritual traditions interact within the setting?
- How do invented religions and spiritualities reflect the author’s own understanding of these concepts in the real world?
- Best practices for inventing religious practices, paraphernalia, iconography, architecture, etc.
- Myths and other stories that surround religion, metaphysics and spirituality.
- 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!