When we talk about religion in real life, assuming it's not taboo, there are a lot of different approaches. Technically, in real life there is no conclusive proof on the existence of God or non-existence of God. There can be a range of indications, evidence and anecdotal testimonials but the conditions are such that no matter what your stance when it comes to religion, spiritualism and the divine is, you will find enough ground to stand on, whether that is universally acknowledged or not, and a lot of people that will share your opinion.
When it comes to fantasy, however, things are usually very different. Unlike in real life, you, as a creator, know if God or gods exist and what they do (or don't do) in your world. Often the fantasy world's magic stems from some kind of divinity, and magic is a very tangible element in the world- objective proof, if you like, of the spiritualism/divine of the world.
So handling religion in fantasy (from high fantasy to urban) can be a bit tricky. Unlike in the real world, where religions can be claimed to be false or unfounded, a religion in fantasy often is based on objectivity, since the gods exist or the magic handled exists and works at the invocation of the clergy. Therefore, it's very hard to have atheists in such a world full of constant ‘miracle working’ when it comes to magic- but of course, not impossible. It'll all be a matter of how you handle your divine.
That said, even with a very tangible, undeniable divine, there's a lot more that can be done with religions, even when within the fantasy world it's clear and evident that it is based on truth (i.e. that the gods/divine it stems from actually exist).
The religion might be based on truth, but interpret things wrongly.
The religion might be corrupt and full of old and misguided admonitions.
The religion might be false, and the truth evade it.
The religion might be false and aware of the truth, and seek to stifle it.
The religion might be under a schism, philosophical or political or even existential, if the divine was once present but now seems to have disappeared from the world.
There may be multiple religions, based on different gods, some of which may be real and others false, or misinterpreted.
Just like everything, a big deal hinges on how present your gods or divinity will be, and how easy it will be for the mortals of the world to realize that a god has intervened/interfered in their life or situation.
How do you handle religion in your work?
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Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, Feb. 29, 2020
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