(urth) Dionysus

Lee Berman severiansola at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 29 07:26:27 PST 2010

Thanks David. I acknowledge not being especially facile with religious
philosophy and I appreciate any and all help I can get.
>David Stockhoff- But I don't see how anyone could twist Islam into gnosticism. 
>That would conflate opposites: there is nothing at all gnostic about Islam.
>However, I can see how gnosticism could be a type of paganism, in the 
>sense that it is misdirected worship of the Increate. Possibly Wolfe 
>considers Islam to be slightly off---perhaps unsurprisingly.
Yes, I have overused the adjective "gnostic" where I really am meaning "false".
Islam, as currently praticed by most, seems to be a very monotheisitic religion
though (inevitably, given its geography) it seems to have a tradition of angels and
demons (djinn) in parallel to Judeo-Christianity.
Yes, wiccan and paganism are what I'd call European versions of gnosticism but I've
found elements of it in Middle East religions of Zoroastrianism, Sufi Islam, Druse, 
Yazidi, ..there are probably others I haven't encountered. I don't know if I'm using 
the right terminology. Hard to concisely discuss such a diverse "religion" which has 
never been codified under the auspice of one central church, I guess.
>Following that logic, we could interpret the four gods primarily not as 
>gnostic pairs---though they are---but as gods. That is, as powers such 
>as Thor and Odin who are real but not God. Gnosticism would be a belief 
>that the true God lies behind the earthly powers.
Hm. I have been deficient in mentioning the Norse mythology references in the Sun series.
They have been in mind but I've been trying to be brief rather than sprawling in my posts.
I think Urth as the name of the Norn of the Past is important. And the half-blind, black 
bird Odin imagery we see in Silkhorn. And perhaps Fenrir as a wolfean inspiration for 
Fr.Inire's name (without neglecting Faunus/Inuus, heh).
I concur regarding the theme of human and superhuman powers (including Severian) being 
confused with God/worshipped as gods. But I wonder what message Wolfe is sending with his 
gods of Ushas. Three of the four gods are not powers but quite ordinary people, two servants 
and a (possible) prostitute. (okay, maybe a khaibit is not quite ordinary but surely not a 

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