English This article discusses the relation between popular culture, as expressed in the fantasy genre,
and religion. Fantasy has become increasingly popular, not the least because of J.K Rowling’s
books on the young wizard Harry Potter. Classical works like J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the
Rings and C.S. Lewis’ Narnia stories have also attracted new fans after the recent screen versions.
Fantasy may contain religious themes and imagery, and often people find meaning and
identity through the myths created in fantasy stories. When fans organize their lives around,
for instance, The Lord of the Rings, this activity can be regarded as religious or as analogous to
religion. This kind of popular culture spirituality is also discernible in television series such as
Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Many teenage girls seem to have found Wiccan internet
sites interesting after having watched the series on television. The article argues that these
fandoms represent cultural and spiritual expressions of popular culture that provide fans with
overarching moral systems and have thus, functionally, become living belief systems.