Thursday, 18 August 2016

Ecumemicism Past And Alternative

"...there's no reason why a priest of Poseidon shouldn't pay Athene honor. In fact, it's a tactful gesture, considering how often those two are at loggerheads in the Odyssey. Ecumenicism -"
-Poul Anderson, The Shield Of Time (New York, 1991), p. 111.

In Ys, Gratillonius worships Mithras, incarnates Taranis and appoints a Christian minister. A boundary marker identifies the Ysan Triad, Belisama, Taranis and Lir, with Venus, Jupiter and Neptunus. But there are conflicts between the Gods, nevertheless.

In Operation Chaos, Matuchek's boss asks his Lutheran pastor to request saintly intervention:

"'...we Lutherans don't make a habit of calling on the saints. But neither do we deny they sometimes intervene. Maybe a Catholic priest or a Neo-Chassidic rabbi would know better how to pray for help. But I couldn't get any on short notice that I dared co-opt, while I've known Jim Karlslund for years...'" (pp. 224-225)

"The Petrine tenet goes along with the higher non-Christian faiths and the findings of modern science. You can't compel Heaven." (pp. 226-227)

We still hope for such mutual understanding on Earth Real. But the goetic timeline has its problems:

the Caliphate;
the Johannines;
the Adversary.

I found the following ecumenical moments in another work of fantasy amusing -

Archangel Michael: Was it not Buddha who heard a sermon in the thunder?
Lucifer Morningstar: Actually it's in the Upanishads - - but I applaud your ecumenical impulse.
-Mike Carey, Lucifer: A Dalliance With The Damned (New York, 2002), p. 149.

In a later volume, God, meeting Lucifer in the Void, recounts the story of the Monkey King and the Buddha. The Monkey King, leaping away from the Buddha to the far end of the universe, finds five pillars - which are the Buddha's fingers. Lucifer is unimpressed.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And, as we both know, Gratillonius came to secretly loath, even despise the gods of Ys. While at first he seem to have privately hoped to increase the number of worshipers of Mithras in Ys, he eventually accepted that Mithraism would never appeal to more than a few. So, Gratillonius came to discreetly protect and encourage the Christians.