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From: "ArchD'Ikon Zibethicus" 
Subject: (urth) I wonder...
Date: Sat, 18 Jan 2003 10:35:39 +0000

You have provoked me into public musing...

The way _I_ read TAD, there was no suggestion that Green was necessarily 
going to his death.  As to the general issue of the 'reality' of the 
Goddess, if I remember correctly, Mr. Wolfe stated in I/V that he felt that 
the Greek gods in the Soldier series were _real_ enough, all right, but not 
necessarily gods per se...something which the late Mr. Lafferty also 
declared in 'Fourth Mansions'...

Altogether, it makes me wonder about how much of an author's religious 
outlook we should be reading into their fiction, assuming they have declared 
an explicit outlook...

>from where
>Lewis sat, it would seem quite important - the difference
>between harmless or even "wholesome" fabulation and heresy, in fact.

A very important difference, I would say...but, in the juvenile Narnia 
fictions, he has Tash as a god in 'The Last Battle', a _real_ god as I read 
it - at any rate, he exterminates someone who has called on him in vain - 
but an evil god.  My reading, anyway...perhaps the confusion here is between 
the terms 'god' and 'deity'?  Should we define, Socratically, before 
proceeding further?

>It includes the Inklings' work (Williams too)

Finally!  Someone who remembers that Williams was there!  And this helps to 
make my point a little clearer; in 'The Place of the Lion', Williams has - 
more-or-less, and speaking very loosely - certain Jungian 'archetypes' (I'm 
starting to dislike that word) come to life, and examines their effect upon 
a community.  Does this make Williams any less of a sincere Christian, 
although it is hardly orthodox theology?  (We shall pass over his early 
membership of the Golden Dawn in judicious silence...)

>I believe Wolfe is writing WITHIN that tradition.

I don't know whether Mr. Wolfe's works fit neatly within a single framework. 
  From my reading of them, I would guess that he is indulging in speculative 
fiction - he advances many ideas, 'good', 'bad', and otherwise, for the sake 
of their fictive value rather than for specifically theological purposes per 
se.  I would imagine that Mr. Wolfe, like C S Lewis, would be quite capable 
of writing a theological text if he so desired.

And I would further suspect that dealing with religious issues and questions 
in and through fiction is a very different process to that of the 
advancement of theological opinion...at least, for authors of deep religious 

>Incidentally, I'm always surprised at how often people claim to have >been
>convinced of the Gospel by CSL's non-fiction. I've found his fiction (for
>example, "Til We Have Faces") to be so much more compelling.

Without wishing in any way to hurt the feelings of any of the Christians on 
this list, I feel obliged to say that I, personally, find both CSL's fiction 
and non-fiction less than compelling on this matter...purely personal 
opinion of a non-Christian religious person...  I have read the story of his 
gradual journey to belief, and find that, in itself, much more interesting 
than the subsequent statements, but I, personally, find his after-death 
appearance to an unsuspecting Christian minister who had been an 
acquaintance in his life to be the most interesting thing he ever did 
regarding religion, if you will allow that 'he' did it...


Consciousness will always be one degree above comprehensibility.

- G.C.H. Ehrensvard

Weep at least once to see God.

- Sri Ramakrishna

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