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Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 15:33:04 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael Straight 
Subject: RE: (urth) Some problems if the Pancreator/Outsider is the Holy T

On Mon, 10 Jun 2002, Dan'l Danehy-Oakes wrote:

> So Typhon and his brood create the _Whorl,_ a place in which they
> can be as gods; they brutally try to suppress all memory of the
> religions of Urth. Yet hints of these religions creep through, so
> that the "Vironese Faith" rather resembles Temple Judaism, albeit
> with many Gods; so that the Trivigauntes have a religion very similar
> to Islam, except with the sexual roles reversed; and so that there
> is even some vague memory of the Incarnation.

I assumed that these were deliberate parodies of Islam, Judaism,
Christianity, etc. by Typhon et. al.  But since Typhon thought it was all
bunk, he inadvertently incorporated bits that connect to the real God -
references to Jesus, the Outsider, etc.

> > Furthermore, it seems that at the end of _Urth of the New Sun_, he's
> > somewhat violating His promise never again to destroy the 
> > world again by water.  
> Again, assuming that this is an earlier universal cycle, one can weasel
> even easier by saying that the promise hasn't yet happened ... but I
> think that the Urth isn't _destroyed_ by water, it's renewed by water.
> In fact, one could claim that it's baptised, as Severian himself is in
> the opening chapter of tBotNS, "Death and Resurrection."

I don't think this works.  The New Testament writers use baptism language
to describe Noah's flood (and vice versa), but that doesn't mean the
Deluge wasn't the thing God promised not to do again.  And I don't know
how you could define "not destroyed, but renewed" in a way that includes
Severian's flood but excludes Noah's.

I think the only out is to either assume this is an earlier universe or
that we're not supposed to try to literally fit Severian's adventures into
Christian Salvation History -- they are an icon of God's work in our
world, rather than literal speculation about how our story might continue.


> Well, if I recall, Tzad is a Hierogrammate. But I could be wrong.

P.S. -- Can't resist sharing this: my wife was telling our three-year-old
twins stories from the Bible and they pointed to the story of the Plagues
of Egypt and wanted to hear it.  When she got to the part about Passover
and the Angel of Death, one of girls screwed up her face and said, 

"Angels not do that."


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