How to Invent a Religion: Part 4

A Day in the Life Theology describes what, in theory, believers of a religion ought to believe, for a given value of ought. In practice, however, members of all religions live lives at variance with what they claim to profess, from the evident truth that few people live up to their religious ideals and others…

How to Invent a Religion: Part 3

Theological Thoughts One of the oddities of 21st Century society in the West is that within, between, and outside religious communities, differences of belief are described as differences of opinion. This point cannot be stressed enough: religious belief is not the same as opinion. There are some people who confuse their opinions with religious belief…

How to Invent a Religion: Part 2

Eschatological Escapades Eschatology is the theology of endings, the counterpart to ætiology. Eschatologies are as varied as ætiologies, and just as important for shaping religious practice. Norse mythology's final battle at Ragnarök, the Buddhist prophecy of Maitreya revealing to a once-more-benighted world the concept of dharma, the theme of a time of judgement shared by…

How to Invent a Religion: Part 1

Edifying Ætiologies An ætiology is a beginning of something expressed in historical or mythological terms, and therefore a highly appropriate concept with which to begin this short series. Last week I spotted a tweet which drove home to me the inherent problems with discussing religion in fiction. In the West, our experience of life is…

Scheduling Shenanigans

Over the last few weeks I have been taking on various projects which have eaten into my time and energy more than I had anticipated. As a result, I am not happy with the quality of some recent posts: I try to be informative and funny, but I am not convinced I am meeting either…