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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Historical knowledge as well as contemporary research point out how narratives are essential in human life, culture, and society. The same holds for the formation and maintenance of religious worlds. Narratives of many kinds play fundamental roles in religion and (other) social constructions and, accordingly, narratives are crucial in individual self-understanding and social integration. The human imagination and the capacities for meaning-making depend on the use of narrative. Narratives also have fundamental epistemic functions in the production of knowledge and the origins of narrative, phylogenesis, and ontogenesis are interrelated. Humanity has grown with language and narrative, both of which seem to be the prerequisites for the development of intelligence as it found in modern humans. The chapter also examines the special features of religious narrative as they create, express, and maintain religious worlds.

Keywords: imagination, language, meaning-making, narrative, narratology, religion, religious worlds, social integration

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