Monday, 4 May 2015

Virtual Gods

Poul Anderson, The Boat Of A Million Years (London, 1991), Chapter XIX, section 26.

For practice in dealing with aliens, the Survivors, standing on the topheth near the betyl, meet and bear gifts to the Phoenician gods:

Melqart who smote "...the Sea, primordial Chaos..." (p. 547)
Baal-Adon, the Resurrected
Adat, Baal's lover, mourner and avenger
Chushor of the waves
Dagon of the plowlands
Aliaan of the springs and underground waters
Resheph of the storm -

- and see sea monsters and the home of El.

Readers of this section simultaneously notice both the most primitive paganism and several elements incorporated into the Bible:

a sacrificed lamb that is also, in their collective imagination, a child;
the sea as the primordial chaos;
the Resurrected;
the names of "false gods" or demons;
El as a divine name.

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