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From: Jim Jordan <jbjordan@gnt.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Are TBOTNS and UOTNS Christian Texts?
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 10:53:24 

At 11:23 AM 4/28/99 -0400, you wrote:
 The New Sun is analogous to
>Revelation and Second Coming, but it isn't the same thing. 

	I've been too busy to keep up with everything on this list -- I have a
huge backlog of posts to read! But I do have a comment here. The coming of
the New Sun is analogous to the Flood, not the end of history. Also,
analogous to the First Coming, not the Second Coming, of the Messiah. The
green man, I submit, is the Christian world, where Eden begins to be
restored. The reason Christianity is not visible in the Commonwealth is
that, in essence, the Commonwealth is pre-Christian.
	Now, to be sure, this future is actually post-Christian, as the scene of
the protestant missionaries shows us. But the story as it actually unfolds
is much more of a recap of the scaffolding of Bible history than of Bible
eschatology. I'd say that the first coming of the Conciliator is not so
much analogous to the first coming of Christ as to the coming of Yahweh
(who, in Christianity, is the preincarnate Jesus) to Israel at Mount Sinai,
or to Abraham at the beginning of the covenant history. Then promises were
made; now they are fulfilled and a new world begins. Note in the New
Testament that as the Gospel arrives, Jerusalem is completely destroyed,
and the language in Matthew 24 and other places speaks of this as a new
flood. As Jesus wept over Jerusalem, so Severian is nonplussed by the
destruction his new world brings with it.
	Remember that Severian is not a Christ, but a "Christian figure." The
Christian is supposed to be LIKE Jesus and do similar things, extending the
Kingdom into history. Thus, what Severian does is like what Jesus DID, not
like what Jesus WILL DO -- if you catch my drift. Accordingly, Wolfe's
future history shows a renewal of the first coming of Christ, not an
arrival of His second coming.
	Unlike the Silk narrative, where there are scores of very clear and
deliberate parallels with the gospel narrative, the Severian narrative is
more vague. But note these parallels: Jesus serves as a servant, and then
is made king. He ascends into heaven, and then 40 years later "returns" to
destroy Jerusalem and usher in the clarified new order. This final coming
is at the end of the world. I submit that this is the scaffolding of the
Severian narrative also.
	Also, while many modern people take the book of Revelation as a prediction
of catastrophes at the end of history, many interpreters (myself included)
believe most of the book deals with the first century. The Beast of
Revelation is the Roman Empire. If Wolfe shares this more traditional view,
and as an R.C. I'll bet he does, then the destruction of Abaia, etc. links
the with destruction of the Beast in Revelation: Rome. So then, not the
second coming, but the final events of the first coming are in view in the
Urth of the New Sun.
	That would be my preferred interpretation, and I think it resolves the
problems you wrestled with.


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

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