What is the role of imagination in human cognition and culture? This book explores the hypothesis that such role is larger than we commonly think: imagination is the key to understand many important domains of our lives - including religion, superstition, and ideology - that are often taken to be the province of belief alone. Combining traditional methods of philosophical inquiry with relevant findings from cognitive and social sciences, it seeks to provide solid empirical support for that hypothesis, on the one hand, and to explore its important theoretical and practical implications, on the other. A novel, substantive theory of the imagination emerges as a result. Imagination, on this view, does not just allow us to escape from reality into fictional worlds, but plays a key, direct role in our representation of (and practical engagement with) the real world itself.