From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes"
Subject: RE: (urth) Re: Baptising the Little Gods Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 12:55:02 -0700 Wow. Hartshorn said: > The Briah cycle is profoundly about Little Gods, and the way their > false godhood becomes a friend and figure of the True god. > > It bears repeatedly on the process by which humans become Little > Gods - as Pas did, as Severian did, as Silk did, and as (we might > say) - and, even more, and even more puzzlingly, it bears on the > truely divine process of *making that holy*. Yes, this is very clearly _one_ thing these books deal with (and 5HC doesn't, which is a strike against its inclusion). > I put it to you that this process is at the roots of Catholicism. Now, there I (as Wolfe's fellow-Catholic) have to demur. That the Catholic Church uses such "accretional" methods to baptize what is good in local cultures and religions into Catholicism, there is no doubt; that some of the saints (like Brigid, alas!) are probably legendary figures made out of local deities, I will agree. If I recall correctly, an effort was made in the '60s to "purge" at least some of the more clearly fictitious saints from the list. But. The Saints are not "little gods"; catholics are forbidden to worship them in any way. They -- the real ones, at least, if not those who are based on older legends -- are servants of God. They are "one with" us by the "Communion of Saints," the unity that Christ prays for His church to possess (see John's account of the Last Supper); they are believed to intercede for us with God, not by any power of their own, but the same way that Christians alive today pray for each other. (The practice commonly referred to "praying to saints" is really asking the saints to pray for us.) And, most importantly, they are not saints because of their own egotistical attempts to elevate themselves to Godhood, but because of their devotion to something beyond their own egos. Typhon-Pas is an _anti_-Saint; rather than being elevated for his submission to God, he refuses to submit to anything and elevates himself to false Godhead. --Dan'l --