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Book: Building Blocks of Religion

Chapter: Fantastic Stories, Emotions and Ancient Religions: Open Questions and Ideas in Conversation with the Building Block and Worldviews Approach

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.37591


This chapter discusses the Building Block Approach from the perspective of the historical and philological study of religion, and in dialogue with perspectives from theories of media, materiality, emotions, and the fantastic. It uses texts from the Hebrew Bible, ancient Mesopotamia, and contemporary popular culture as exemplary material. The article suggests that the BBA underestimates the power of material media, narrativity and fantasy in religion, and how these aspects stimulate, train, and form experience and create emergent meanings. Moreover, it indicates that with regard to several types of materials and social contexts, e.g., premodern religions or with regard to contemporary popular culture, the concept of “religion” is more useful and versatile than the concept of worldview for the general study of religion.

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