I have an ongoing theory about where religion is going….
It happily matches Diana Butler Bass’s, though is from a differing perspective
In undergrad I got a BA in Hist and Engl and (almost) a minor in Philosophy…but really, I was studying fairy tales & fantasy. I did my thesis on that.
Then in seminary, I would sneak off and read fantasy and try to study Lewis and L’engle on the side, of course taking Osmer’s Fantasy class (I got to help with the reading list that year) YAY!
So….I’ve noticed how fantasy is not only the sort of fiction our souls need, as the inklings theorized, but also that its mirroring of spirituality is amazing.
Here is the thesis in a nutshell: Fairy Tales did not exist before Christ, before that there was no forgiving God, no happily ever after. (Cupid and Psyche is simultaneously the last myth, the first fairy tale)
There the idea of Human Progress and Mythic Recess. Science was on the move, Oz has to be hidden, Narnia can’t be find, the Elves are leaving in Tolkien.
Science is taking over there is no room for magic/religion
We are now, in 2015, witnessing the Harry Potter generation coming into adulthood. If I am at the beginning of the millennial time (I was born in 83), then my sister (born in 93) and graduating from undergrad this year, I think will be the end of it, and the beginning of the new generation. How can it not? The economics have changed, religion has changed, rights have changed….read Diana Butler Bass’s book Christianity after Religion for more.
This Harry Potter generation read about Muggles and Wizardfolk. Side by side, intertwined. The magic is hard to find, but once you discover it, it parallels and is (and as it turns out has been) integrated into “regular” life. Urban fantasy, by the likes Charlaine Harris &
I feel this is a signal to where religion/faith is going in the future. How does our spirituality fit into our lives?
More (w)holistically to be sure, more diverse, more interspersed with those who are not typically religious.
People like C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, Neil Gaiman, Madeline L’engle, Robin Mckinley all of whom speak to the truth of fantasy….
I know it is but a mirror, but the fact that fantasy was founded as a conversation about Christ and Culture, and looking to the big questions
Where does humanity start? How is the great battle between good and evil going? What is the individual’s call within that battle?
(Geek moment. I consider Science Fiction to be about adding technology onto humans to augment and change it. Fantasy to be about what happens when magic is thrown into the normal world. Both are about the state of humanity, what makes someone a person?)
I think that as the Harry Potter Generation, those who literally grew up with the books, signal where interest in spirituality might be going next, and that their might be a revival…..and I find that fascinating……
Still mulling about that wonderful Dystopic Fantasy…I think Diana Bass Butler’s theory about the bridge of change….is helpful ….even more helpful for me is to move beyond the flat narrative and looking more carefully at the narrative of those who have to bear the burden of those changes, people of color, the poor, the LBGQT, etc.