Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Fictional Religions

I do not want to compile a complete list bur here are some interesting comparisons:

Robert Heinlein
The Angels of the Lord
The Fosterite Church of the New Revelation

Like some Muslims, the Angels reject Church-State separation. Medieval Christendom had a Pope and an Emperor (in England, a King and an Archbishop), and conflict between them, whereas, after the election of President Scudder, the United States has only a reigning Prophet. Heinlein's other nasty Christian derivative is the Fosterite Church of the New Revelation in Stranger in a Strange Land. Both Angels and Fosterites claim direct contact with Heaven. Archangels tell the Fosterite Supreme Bishop exactly when a couple who have left their property to the Church will go to Heaven and the Church organizes a farewell party... None dare call it murder. The First Prophet is said to return in the flesh annually at the Miracle of the Incarnation. Heinlein knew that modern communications technology could be used to broadcast nonsense. We, the readers, meet neither the hedonist Foster nor the ascetic Scudder in person - but we know that Scudder's successors do not adhere to his asceticism. The revolutionary Cabal cannot take the deposed Prophet alive because his Virgins get to him first.
-copied from here.
Poul Anderson
The Jerusalem Catholic Church
The Johannine Church

The Angels and the Johnnies are collective villains. The only wholesome church in this list is the Jerusalemites.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I think you simply forgot, but we see another fictional religion in Poul Anderson's Technic History, the Cosmenosism seen in THE DAY OF THEIR RETURN. Aycharaych, the Chereionite master spy working for Merseia, deliberately created this false religion as an instrument against the Terran Empire. His design was to use Cosmenosism to trigger a jihad which would break the Empire. Islam was mentioned as an example of a religion which was spread by war and shook to their foundations ancient realms.


    1. Sean,
      You are right that Cosmenosis is another fictional religion. I think that Aycharaych used it but had not created it.

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      I grant that Aycharaych found and used ideas on Aeneas which he used to mold Cosmenosism as a weapon against the Empire. But I still think he added other ideas, such as the contradictions mentioned by Chunderban Desai at the end of THE DAY OF THEIR RETURN. Contradictions designed to help cosmenosism fall apart once it had shattered the Empire.


    3. Sean,
      He did that, through his false prophet.

    4. Kaor, Paul!

      True, albeit poor Jaan was meant by Aycharaych to be a puppet prophet secretly manipulated by him. I had in mind how Aycharaych inserted ideas in Cosmenosism which would later cause doctrinal controversies, heresies, and schisms.