Monday, 12 December 2016

Stronger Gods

Gunnar has not had much religious education. He speaks of " '...St Thor...' " and "...the wizards of Romaborg..." (pp. 228-229)
-copied from here.

Both Poul Anderson and SM Stirling describe characters with pagan worldviews who, encountering Christianity, believe that they are accepting the Christian deity whereas instead they are merely incorporating that deity into their own as-yet-unchanged worldview.

Otto Verger, born Otheleraur son of Vargarex, thinks that a modern weapon gives him the Fist of Tauntutonnarax the Horned Man, then corrects that to the Fist of God the Father and Son and his Mother and makes the sign of the cross. Wanting to settle in Nantucket, he knows that:

"...he must make peace with Jesus and his sky-clan..." because it is "...always well to be in good with the particular Gods of the folk you dwell among, even if they were so strange you didn't understand a thing about them. They were strong; that was enough."
-SM Stirling, On The Oceans Of Eternity (New York, 2000), Chapter Twenty-Four, p. 486.

By this criterion, a military conquest of Nantucket would prove the conquerors' gods to be stronger. I think that the Ecumenical Church would pragmatically accept Otto's conversion, knowing that they would be able to educate his children differently.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

True, and that is exactly what happened in real history, when the Catholic converted the pagan Anglo Saxons, Scandinavians, or similar peoples. The naive muddle some converts made of Christianity was tolerated, with the idea their children and grand children would come to a more accurate and deeper understanding of Christianity.

Merry Christmas! Sean

Paul Shackley said...

Dialogue in a Peter O'Toole film -

Which is your favorite god?
In England, we have only one god.
There is far too much work for only one god!

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Amusing, and I suspect that is how many naive Christians might actually think. Or pagans, for that matter. Altho I disagree with this bit of dialogue.