...well, one of the reasons (but it's a doosey):
"I thought I saw how stories of this kind could steal past a certain inhibition which had paralyzed much of my own religion in childhood. Why did one find it so hard to feel as one was told one ought to feel about God or about the sufferings of Christ? I thought the chief reason was that one was told one ought to. An obligation to feel can freeze feelings. And reverence itself did harm. The whole subject was associated with lowered voices, almost as if it were something medical. But supposing that by casting all these things into an imaginary world, stripping them of their stained-glass and Sunday school associations, one could make them for the first time appear in their real potency? Could one not thus steal past those watchful dragons? I thought one could." -- C.S Lewis, in an essay titled "Sometimes Fairy Stories Say Best What's To Be Said"
In literary parlance, it's called the suspension of disbelief...the almost magical ability stories have (whether in written, audio or movie form) to enable us to let go of our sacred paradigms and prejudices and experience life from a completely new and different vantage point. All literary genres do this, but fantasy is I think the best at it, because it challenges the reader's perspective not only on a particular issue or a type of person, but on the nature and meaning of the world itself, and our place in it. We're big on logic & scientific analysis in the West as the best means of convincing people of a particular belief or to bridge differences between groups or nations. But a powerful story, well told, has always been the most effective way to change a heart. And changed hearts are what I am after.
8 hours ago