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Alternative Worlds: Metaphysical Questing and Virtual Community amongst the Otherkin

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Chapter Summary

The advent and subsequent popularisation of the Internet and the World Wide Web has given rise to significant transformations within the religious world, effecting communicative and sometimes structural changes. Hyper-real religions constitute a notable element of this religious relocation, most particularly remarkable in their overt proximity to popular culture source material and postmodern relation to notions of fiction and truth. This chapter looks at one such group, the Otherkin, with an aim to provide an introduction to the community, focusing upon the shared central philosophies of the constituent members, and the locales within which the community as a whole functions. In the case of the Otherkin, the relevant religious tradition is perhaps best understood as contemporary paganism and more broadly western occultism, but the explicit utilisation of popular culture source material for unequivocally spiritual and metaphysical means is clearly evident within the virtual community.

Keywords:Hyper-real religions; metaphysical; Otherkin; philosophies; popular culture; religious world; virtual community

10.1163/9789004226944_008
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