(urth) Wolfean theologies
sbocian at poczta.fm
Wed Feb 4 11:44:05 PST 2009
On 4 lutego 2009, David Stockhoff wrote:
> Yes, you are saying exactly what I think. As only a semiliterate
> person in these areas, as well as being an atheist, I am naturally
> leery of a too-theological interpretation.
> However, outside the work, I personally don't see much difference,
> because to me they are all characters, and the world is plainly big
> enough for infinite variations. Christ himself was partly derived
> from characters who preceded him. I would identify a character with
> stigmata and a spear wound who carries the Divine Spark as one with
> a much more *specific* relation to the Christ than Frodo would have.
> Second, I asked, if Severian experiences in TUotNS, as he relates
> he does, at least a glimpse of what it's like to be God/a god/a
> godling/whatever (I don't see support in the text for useful
> distinctions between these), then what does that mean for the work?
> To this question, I got John's suggestion that Severian's divinity
> might have been temporary, and Brunian's. It's still open. Is this
> passage part of TUotNS's New-Sun-for-Dummies role, or does it tell
> us something specific, like Severian is divine? is he divine
> temporarily or inherently? Or am I jumping to conclusions? Perhaps,
> read properly, it tells us Severian is NOT divine?
Since you yourself said that your knowledge of theology is limited, I
will try to explain some basic conceptions of that science. They are
not exclusive to Christianity BTW, in fact they have been discovered
by the Greek philosophy.
God is categorically different from all other things which exists
(including gods/divinities/godlings/angels/saints). God is the
fundamental ground of all existence, outside the world, space and
time. Whatever exists, exists because of God. Moreover, no words
which can be used to describe any other things can be rightly used
about God. In fact, saying that God exists, is good, wise, powerful
etc is in a sense untrue - all those words do not describe God
For that reason saying that Severian is Christ makes no sense. Even
saying that Severian resembles Christ is meaningless if you do not
understand that categorical difference.
Here you can find a good description of the problem by
Pseudo-Dionysios Areopagita. He is my favourite author when
explaining Wolfe, since he is heavily influenced by Neoplatonists.
The introduction by translator to "On the Divine Names" is very
good and should explain things.
That fundamental difference is quite clearly explained by Wolfe in
the Melito's story in "The Citadel of the Autarch";
""The eagle looked at the angel when he heard what the cock said,
and the angel looked at the eagle. 'The Pancreator is infinitely
far from us,' the angel said. 'And thus infinitely far from me,
though I fly so much higher than you. I guess at his desires—
no one can do otherwise.'"
Note that this is NOT an orthodox position. It a Neoplatonic, not
Christian idea (as is most of the New Sun, of course),
but it clearly shows the difference between the True
God and all other divinities, of which there is so many in the
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