Monday, 10 April 2017

Christianity In Six Timelines

Poul Anderson and SM Stirling show how Christianity develops in different timelines, e.g.:

(i) Anderson's Technic History;
(ii) Anderson's "The Word to Space";
(iii) Stirling's Fall timeline;
(iv) Stirling's Draka timeline;
(v) Stirling's Nantucket timeline;
(vi) Stirling's Change timeline.

These remarks will be brief but obviously can generate lengthier discussion.

(i) In "The Problem of Pain," Peter Berg, a Christian from Aeneas, says that the Church decided pre-spaceflight that Jesus saves only human beings and that God will save other races, if they need it, in other ways. Despite this, the Jerusalem Catholic Church later ordains Axor, a Wodenite, and Fr Axor seeks evidence of an Incarnation elsewhere in the galaxy.

(ii) See here.

(iii) The Fall is an asteroid strike, not the Biblical Fall. Catholicism survives in French territories. Anglicanism moves with the British Empire to India where it starts to merge with Hinduism.

(iv) Draka philosophy is incompatible with Christianity. The Draka allow their serfs to practise Christianity although they themselves have no understanding of it.

(v) When Nantucket time travels to Before Christ, some of its Christians go mad and try to kill everybody on the island. Sane Christians merge into an Ecumenical Church and evangelize in this new timeline.

(vi) I am reading the Change series and will probably discuss this aspect of it at greater length. An abbot mentions the sun halting over Joshua. Poul Anderson got a short story out of this idea. See here, here and here.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

There need not be any contradiction in what Peter Berg said about the "Church" deciding Our Lord came only for mankind and us later seeing non human Christians. Berg may had belonged only to a non Catholic part of Christianity which made this decision for itself only. Peter made no mention of which "Church" he was speaking about in "The Problem Of Pain." It might have been one of the Orthodox Churches, for example.


Sean M. Brooks said...

I forgot to make additional comments.

Your point (iii). I remember my dismay and horror when I read that part of THE PESHAWAR LANCERS about the Anglicans of India succumbing to the errors of Hinduism, such as polytheism, recincarnation, ritual purity, caste, etc. And I noted with approval how the French Crown Prince, a Catholic, very plainly disagreed with all of this.

I agree with your point (iv).

Your point (v). I did wonder if the Nantucketer Christians became some what like the pre Christian Jews who waited in hope for the coming of the Messiah/Christ. Very odd and interesting, Christians believing in the coming Incarnation of Christ. Rather than, as is the actual case, Christians believing the Incarnation of Christ was a PAST event.