Saturday, 3 June 2017

Religious Observance

Which of Poul Anderson's characters:

are Catholics;
convert to Catholicism;
pay lip service to it?

There have been periods when lip service was advisable. Indeed, in my childhood, the response of some adults if their beliefs were questioned was hatred.

In SM Stirling's Emberverse, Tiphaine d'Ath pays lip service to feudal Catholicism whereas Astrid Larsson invokes the deities of Middle Earth although, ironically, Tolkien was a Catholic. Might some Emberversers go further to proclaim themselves Kings and Queens of Narnia, appointed by Aslan? To do this with any sincerity or authenticity, it would be necessary to acknowledge that Aslan is a leonine form of Christ and that Narnianism is an alternative form of Christianity.

A guy I worked with dodged a Catholic woman who wanted to marry him and married someone else. Then, both he and his wife wound up teaching in different Catholic schools and, when they moved house, they were living directly opposite the Catholic section of a cemetry! (I advised him to stop fighting it.)


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Catholic characters in the works of Poul Anderson? When I think of it, a surprisingly large number of Catholics in works written by a man who professed agnosticism for most of his life. Altho he respected honest Protestants, Anderson seemed to have taken Catholicism more seriously than he did Protestantism. I will offer a partial list of Catholics in in PA's works.

Baron Roger and his fellow English in THE HIGH CRUSADE
Brother Hugh de Tournville, in ROGUE SWORD
The unnamed priest in "Journeys End"
Nicholas van Rijn, in works like THE MAN WHO COUNTS
The young Juan in "The Season of Forgiveness"
The telepathic woman in "Kyrie"
Kossara Vymezal in A KNIGHT OF GHOSTS AND SHADOWS (unless she, and most other human Dennitzans, were Orthodox)
St. Corentinus, in THE KING OF YS

And this is only a partial list. I'm sure more can be added.

And I'm not sure if Astrid Larsson and her fellow "neo-Dunedain" WORSHIPED the Valar as gods. Tolkien made it quite plain, as he devoloped his Middle Earth mythos, that the Valar were simply angelic beings serving the true God, called "Eru Iluvatar". Well, Morgoth was the FALLEN Vala who rebelled against Eru.

It might have been interesting if there were fans of Lewis' Narnia books numerous enough to have founded their own society in Stirling's Emberverse.


David Birr said...

The Dennitzans are indicated to be of Serb descent, and thus, yes, most likely Eastern Orthodox.

Paul Shackley said...

They are said to be OrthoChristians.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID and Paul!

David, I'm not absolutely sure. See Paul's comment. The Dennitzans could have been eastern rite Catholics.

Paul, and "OrthoChristian" could mean either Orthodox or Catholic Christians. Sometimes I think PA wanted to keep his readers guessing! (Smiles)