(urth) resurrecting a 2002 thread that posits an alternative lineage for Sev
Norwood, Frederick Hudson
NORWOODR at mail.etsu.edu
Mon Oct 6 06:23:34 PDT 2014
The word pagan means: neither Christian nor Jewish. (The earlier meaning -- a rustic, a rude fellow, not schooled in the ways of the big city -- is obsolete.) Therefore Catholics are not pagans. There may or may not be a continuous progression from the pagan to the Christian, but as soon as you say "I believe in God, the Father, almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord," you stop being a pagan.
From: Urth [mailto:urth-bounces at lists.urth.net] On Behalf Of Lee
Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2014 8:28 AM
To: urth at urth.net
Subject: (urth) resurrecting a 2002 thread that posits an alternative lineage for Sev
>Marc Aramini: when I was a young boy was not that he was a normal person but a Christ. The pagan gods are
>the unnatural creatures in New Sun whose mythologies are incorporated and transformed into Christian stories
>[such as the flood and the story of Genesis].
I would mention that the pagan gods of earth are actually of the MOST natural origin; things such as earth and sky
and ocean and weather. More advanced religions serve a function only in more advanced, i.e. civilized, urbanized
Perhaps calling Severian a pagan god was an oversimplified and misleading analogy. My usual way of describing
the analogy is as a demi-god, akin to the half-breed Greco-Roman heroes. Like Severian, they were born not
knowing their true parentage and unaware of the source of their superhuman abilities and skills.
>While clearly Wolfe loves playing with mythical creatures, the importance of his Catholicism to his works shouldn't
I think you are seeing a disconnect which Wolfe does not; i.e. the importance of paganism to Catholicism shouldn't
be understated. The idea that Hercules serves as a prototype for Jesus certainly doesn't originate with me.
>Antonio Marques: That is, Christ's ability to perform miracles wasn't in any way different from that of his disciples,
>who also performed them through faith in God.
I think this is a good observation. Later Christian saints also are known to perform miracles through the power of faith.
In contrast to Jesus, Severian had some very devoted and faithful followers as The Concillator. He had a cult, The
Pelerines, who were completely devoted to the reverence of the Conciliator and who were even in possession of the
Claw. None off them appeared to have any hint of the powers Severian channeled from the New Sun.
>Matthew Weber: Christ is a hypostasis of divinity and humanity. It's correct to say that his power is not magical...
>... Insofar as Wolfe is an orthodox RC, it can be assumed that this is what he believes as well.
On his own Catholicism, with regard to his writing, Wolfe says of himself (in the Larry McCaffrey interview):
>I am a practicing Catholic, although I don't think that designation would give people much of an idea about what my
>beliefs are. People have a very limited, stereotyped view of what it means to be a Catholic.......
>.....I certainly don't dismiss religious or other mystical forms of speculation out of hand. I read it and try to make my own
>judgments about it. And in The Book Of The New Sun I tried to work out some of the implications of my beliefs.
>Marc Aramini: Yes, I am quite sure Wolfe subscribes to the whole "one in being with the Father" creed - Christ is fully human
>and fully divine (a similar paradox to the whole three in one, one in three theological parsing - we aren't dealing with
>Arianism or Gnosticism in Wolfe ... oh wait, maybe sometimes we are ....)
I think this is a good discussion. In deciding whether Catholicism is separate from paganism or is part of a continuous
progression from it, I think there is sort of a Necker Cube effect going on. The picture changes, depending on what
perspective you are viewing from. My sense is that Wolfe is aware of this Necker Cube and plays with the different
perspectives in the course of his writing.
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