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From: David_Lebling@avid.com
Subject: (urth) Comparative Religion
Date: Fri, 8 Oct 1999 09:51:31 

From: Paul C Duggan <pduggan@world.std.com>
<<What about the detail (IIRC) in the Long Sun that the religion of the
Whorl "parodied" that of the state religion at the time of Typhon? Does
that indicate a kind of connection to christianity ("sign of addition",

If you look at the features of the Vironese faith, it has only a tenuous
connection to Christianity.  Some of its features compared to Christian ones:

--Vironism--                       --Christianity--
polytheistic                       monotheistic
animal sacrifice                         no
human sacrifice (only recently abolished)     no
reading of entrails                no
theophany as major element               no, but visions have been important
confession and forgiveness               confession and forgiveness
sign of cross                      sign of addition

Really, Vironism resembles nothing so much as the Roman religion, a syncretic
popular religion based primarily on the original Roman polytheism, but open to
any cult with a popular following. Had Christianity exhibited a willingness to
sacrifice to the Emperor, it probably would have been absorbed into the Roman
religious "marketplace."  Popular Roman religious practice has to be
distinguished from the state religion, which was conservative and focused more
on the old (pre-Greek-borrowings) Italian (Latin? Etruscan?) deities, such as
the Lares and Penates, the Bona Dea, and so on.  In Viron, Jehovah (or is it
Allah?) has been absorbed as the "Outsider."

The Romans as individuals were into Isis, Mithras, mystery cults, and so on, all
of which were grafted onto the original pantheon.  This is not unlike Hindu
syncretism as well.

In any case, the religions of the Whorl appear to all be parodies of Urth (or
rather, Earth) religions, sometimes with a sting or joke attached.
Triviguante's religion and culture are parodies of Arab culture and religion
with the sexes swapped, for example.  The religion of Gaon (in _On Blue's
Waters_) appears to be more-or-less a parody of Hinduism.

Pas/Typhon did this on purpose to divide the inhabitants of the _Whorl_.

In short, we can deduce little or nothing about the religion(s) of Urth from
those of the _Whorl_.

     -- Dave Lebling
     (aka vizcacha)

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

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