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From: "Mark Millman" <Mark_Millman@hmco.com>
Subject: Re: (urth) Dualism & horror
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 1998 10:16:52 

On 19 October 1998 at 6:04 AM GMT,
Sergeant Rock (Peter T. Cash) wrote:

> "How about "pagan" instead of "extra-
> Christian"? I don't think this darkness
> is anything new; perhaps after the 19th
> century it becomes "neo-paganism",
> that's all. I would argue that any work
> that doesn't have a Christian dimension
> but does deal with supernatural evil is
> pagan; any dualism is strictly secondary
> and quite uninteresting. (I'm not saying
> that pagan works necessarily lack value
> or interest, of course.)

While I'll grant you that Islamic and Zoroastrian
works aren't typically of great importance in our
culture, Sergeant, I'd hesitate to suggest that
Judaism is either pagan or contains Christian
elements.  If you want to argue that supernatural
evil in Judaism is a relic of pre-Jewish Semitic
paganism, I'll agree with you; but then I'll insist
that Christian supernatural evil derives from a
much wider variety of assimilated and co-opted
pagan sources.  As for high theology, which can
be far removed from Christian folk belief, and
even a great deal of doctrine . . . I can't speak
to that.

Sergeant Rock continued:
> If Satan exists, he's void, in the sense
> of having no substance--I believe the
> common metaphor is say he is like a
> shadow. (Hmmm....shadows in Wolfe's
> works...not an uncommon theme.
> Hmmm.)

If Satan is void and without substance, there's
a strong implication that all the other members
of God's heavenly hosts are as well; the book
of Job makes Satan's existence, if not his
exact role, quite explicit.  And, while it's not
clear whether God gave Satan only the man-
agement or the actual performance of Job's
misfortunes, there is more than a suggestion
of agency.

But I do very much like your observation on

Mark Millman

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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