(urth) Quasi Christ?
dstockhoff at verizon.net
Mon Feb 9 13:42:31 PST 2009
First, I'd say that the novel simply must rule out all other sentient species. In fact, there don't seem to be any other sentient species in the TBotNS universe---only Powers like the Cumean, Inire, Tzadkiel, etc. (The Inhumi are different, and look at how closely Wolfe examines their moral potential, and how he ties it to humans'.)
We can't speculate on their histories because we don't meet more than one of them---their societies and histories are closed to us. But for all we know, every one of their "species" did indeed have some sort of "unique-intervention" moment. The Increate could have an infinity of sons he sent off to die horribly, *but we don't need to know about it.* TBotNS is not really an "interstellar" or galactic SF novel.
Second, I agree that it would be a basic unfairness to all the other interstellar races to have the only OTC in the universes land on Earth in 0 AD, and I'm sure this has occurred to Wolfe. *But that's not what TBotNS is about.* Perhaps the LS/SS novels pay a bit more attention to that problem, but still in a necessarily anthropocentric manner.
I don't think the Pope has ruled yet on whether space aliens have souls.
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2009 11:11:45 -0800
From: Jordon Flato <jordonflato at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: (urth) Quasi Christ?
To: The Urth Mailing List <urth at lists.urth.net>
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Man, I was just coming on to lay out some ideas only to see that you've
beaten me to the punch on some of them, Witz.
One of the big points that always roils around in my head with this issue of
"Christ", "Quasi-Christ," etc., is the notion that the Catholic or indeed
Christian notion of a singular and non repeatable instance of Christ seems
to be an entirely and unabashedly geocentric vision. The world of New Sun
in an interstellar, and indeed interdimensional one. Are we to believe that
Christ, in this world, if he *was* a part of the history and metaphysics of
Briah, would appear in a single instance on a single planet eons in the
past, and never have influence as redeemer on any other world? How would a
Catholic worldview have to adjust itself to incorporate the reality of a
universe teeming with life and intelligence? Hasn't Wolfe tried to tackle
this question in New Sun? Why do we not discuss it in the context of this
When we argue about "Is Severian a Christ or Christ-instance" it is still
soley from the point of view of Urth as the sole center of Christ's
influence, or the increates influence (I'm generalizing grossly with the 'we
argue' part, as there have no doubt been disucssion to add this dimension in
So, if Severian is not an instance of The Christ (which I am more and more
inclined to believe he is not), can there ever have beenany unique instance
of "the christ" in Sev's universe, knowning that life is teeming across the
universe? Do we have to invent a unique instance of Christ on every planet
with intellegent life in order to square this with Catholic theology? Or do
we write off the rest of these civilizations as simply damned?
We know "God" exists in the universe of New Sun, because of The Outsider
(well, that is how I take it anyway). As does Jesus, who we can recognize
through some of Silks visions. How does this square with a much wider, much
How can Christ have been a single instantation, never to be repeated, in a
universe like this? And if he WAS, don't we have to completely re-write our
understanding of a merciful God?
This isn't as well thought out as I'd like. I'll probably revist it
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