Serious parody: Discordianism as liquid religion

Essi Eleonoora Mäkelä, Johanna Petsche

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


Identified as the first ' invented religion' [Cusack, Carole M. 2010. Invented Religions: Imagination, Fiction and Faith. Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate], Discordianism was founded in 1957 by college students Gregory Hill (1941-2000) and Kerry Wendell Thornley (1938-1998). According to the anarchic scripture Principia Discordia, Discordianism was the result of a revelation that Hill and Thornley had in an all-night bowling alley, in which the Greek goddess Eris spoke to them in the form of a chimpanzee. Over the decades, through a variety of media including underground publishing, science fiction fandom, role-playing game clubs and the Internet, Discordianism has evolved into a worldwide phenomenon. This paper argues that although Discordianism originated as an absurdist joke and is often dismissed as a 'parody religion', over time it has developed into a meaningful world-view for practitioners. To demonstrate this, there is an analysis of data obtained from interviews conducted with seven Finnish Discordians during the winter of 2010-2011. These findings are examined within Teemu Taira's theoretical framework of 'liquid religion' (2006). It will be argued that Discordianism not only represents a highly eclectic and 'liquid' world-view in itself, but that it also intentionally 'liquefies' the boundaries between the sacred and profane.

Bidragets titel på inmatningsspråkTotista parodiaa: Diskordianismi notkeana uskonnollisuutena
TidskriftCulture and Religion
Sidor (från-till)411-423
Antal sidor13
StatusPublicerad - dec 2013
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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