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From: "William H. Ansley" <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Religion of the New Sun
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 00:25:43 

>although the world of Middle Earth has no overt worship or ritual
>that's not quite the same thing as saying that there is no religion.
>One profound difference between Middle earth and our world is that
>Manwe and the Valar knew Illuvatar and the Eldar knew the Valar -
>even men have known some of the Maia, even if only the wise
>recognise this.  There is a certainty possible to them, even at
>several removes, that has no analogue in this worlds faiths. Indeed
>'faith' is not required when any passing elf could supply you with
>the chief angel's address.

Exactly so! I have never been able to understand how anyone could complain
that there is no religion in _The Lord of the Rings_ when it is obvious
that there is no need for religion as we know it in that world.

>The situation on Urth is not dissimilar. Although we have ritual
>with forms that we recognise as religious and orders such as the
>Pelegrines we also have the Heirogramates who appear to have a
>closer connection to the Increate of that universe than we do. Again
>faith becomes moot if one can board ship and visit the Increate's

I had not though of applying the same argument to TBotNS, however. I'll
have to give this more thought.

William Ansley

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

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