(urth) The poor dragons

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Tue Oct 2 22:22:12 PDT 2007

Andrew wrote:
>On Wed, 03 Oct 2007 05:46:40 +1000 "Roy C. Lackey"
><rclackey at stic.net> wrote, inter alia:
>>... divine grace, a concept I
>>see no provision for in Wolfe's Seven Worlds cosmology
>I disagree with that. When Able transforms Dsiri, he does it in the
>presence of a Valfather whom the magic helmet reveals to be "bright
>shadow". I'm sure that the one true God is present behind the
>Valfather aspect, and Able here is acting as the agent of divine

My whole sentence was: "If Yes, if he [Setr] had a human soul, what
reasonable hope had he for salvation, apart from divine grace, a concept I
see no provision for in Wolfe's Seven Worlds cosmology?"

I was speaking of salvation, the salvation of a being with a soul, by divine
grace. I didn't say that God could not act in the world(s). In consequence
of Able giving her his blood, Disiri became a human woman and thereby gained
a soul. With a soul, she then had a *chance* at salvation, like any other
human. Merely having a soul does not guarantee entry to Heaven.

Able may have been God's agent for making Disiri human, but Able was not the
agent for her salvation, if that should turn out to be her lot. That is the
job of a redeemer. As you wrote a few days ago, "Why Jesus hasn't impinged
on Mythgathr so far - dunno!" I don't know either, which is why I said it
was "a concept I see no provision for in Wolfe's Seven Worlds cosmology."

If Wolfe believes that salvation is by grace alone (RC Church doctrine), and
that men cannot influence the outcome (Pelagian heresy), then what is a body
in the middle worlds supposed to do?

Even if Setr did have a human soul, he was set up to fail. If he had a human
soul and worshipped the Aelf, he was guilty of violating the religious
dictum to worship upward. As a dragon, he was compelled to worship the Aelf.
Either way, he was in violation of the First Commandment, if there was such
a thing in the Seven Worlds.

If TWK had been written by someone other than Wolfe, I could write all these
religious issues off as just background for a rip-roaring fantasy story. But
it isn't a rip-roaring story and it *was* written by Wolfe. What was his
religious message?


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