The Human Truth Foundation

The Jedi Knight Religion, Inspired by Star Wars (Jediism)

By Vexen Crabtree 2015

#anti_religion #atheism #jedi_knights #monotheism #new_religious_movements #new_zealand #pantheism #parody_religions #pastafarianism #polytheism #religions #taoism #UK

Jedi Knights
Links: Pages on Jedi Knights, Other Religions
God(s)Atheist / Monotheist / Polytheist / Animist
AdherentJedi Knight
AdherentsJedi Knights
TextsNone
AfterlifeSelect few
Founding
HeritageScience fiction
Area of OriginUK
When2001
FounderCampaign for UK Census
Numbers in the UK (Census results)
2001390 1272011176 632

Over the last few decades around the world, some fans of the Star Wars films have started describing themselves as "Jedi Knight" when asked what religion they are. In New Zealand, around 20,000-30,000 people have done so every census since 19911. The UK Census of 2001 saw 390 127 people put down "Jedi Knight" as their religion - that's 0.7% of the population2. The UK's Office for National Statistics concluded that this was a parody (a joke) and included those who wrote Jedi Knight in the "no religion" category3. The basis of the Jedi Religion in fiction does not mean that it should be dismissed - it is quite possible that the underlying principles of an all-pervading force is true (similar teachings are found in Taoism and Pantheism, for example). Also it is apparent that given the huge number of contradictory religions, most are them are also based on fictions. The unknown factor is to what extent adherents are engaging in parody, and to what extend the Jedi Religion will become established as a serious philosophy.

Parody religions are created to intentionally poke fun at religion in order to highlight the occurance of poor arguments, bad reasoning, fantasy and wishful-thinking in religious thought4. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (Pastafarianism), the Church of the Subgenius, Discordianism and the Jedi Knight religion are examples. By some definitions, parody religions count as philosophies and not religions5, but there is no strong argument why this should be the case. Parody religions make serious points and their followers have serious beliefs and are making serious arguments - indirectly.

"Parody Religions" by Vexen Crabtree (2017)

Jedi Knights in the UK

#jedi_knights #UK #UK_religion

The UK Census of 2001 saw 390 127 people put down "Jedi Knight" as their religion - that's 0.7% of the population2,8. This resulted from an internet campaign that preceded the Census9,8. An urban myth had developed that this many votes would make Jedi an "official religion", however this is not true, as the UK is a secular country and there is no such thing as a government-wide list of "official religions"10. The UK's Office for National Statistics concluded that this was a parody (a joke) and included those who wrote Jedi Knight in the "no religion" category3,11.

Just over 390,000 of the 52,000,000 people in England and Wales wrote in 'Jedi' on their census form. The 'Jedi' response was most popular in Brighton and Hove, with 2.6 per cent of Census respondents quoting it, followed by Oxford (2.0 per cent), Wandsworth (1.9), Cambridge (1.9), Southampton (1.8) and Lambeth (1.8).

It was least popular in Easington, on the north-east coast of England between Sunderland and Hartlepool, where it was quoted by only 0.16 per cent of respondents. Sedgefield, Knowsley, Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil and Wear Valley all show less than 0.2 per cent of respondents quoting 'Jedi'.

Office for National Statistics (2001)12

The campaign was not maintained, and in 2011, less than half of the total number put down "Jedi Knight" as their religion - 176 632 people.