FIND in
<--prev V301 next-->
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 12:30:30 -0600
From: James Jordan 
Subject: Re: (urth) Yes he is! No he isn't! Yes he is...

At 09:29 AM 1/19/2003, you wrote:

>By his own account, Wolfe is not entirely
>orthodox in his Catholicism. I know about some of his individual quirks and
>eccentricities, but by no means all. Contributors to this list sometimes
>say, "Wolfe is a Catholic and therefore he believes such and such," or
>"Wolfe is a Christian and therefore believes this thing and that." When I
>read such assertions, I'm usually sitting there mumbling, "Maybe," and
>For the record, my guess is that "Westwind" and "The Detective of Dreams"
>are among the most explicit fictional expressions of Wolfe's personal faith.
>But I could be wrong...

Well, since my interview and conversations around that time centered on 
Wolfe's religious beliefs, I can chime in a bit. Wolfe sees himself as a 
thoroughly orthodox RC, but with a bit more thrown in. He has said things 
in interviews like, "I'm an RC, but don't think you know what that means" 
-- which is certainly true enough these days. It does not mean "I'm RC, but 
on a quasi-heretical fringe." It just means most people don't really know 
much about RC.
         I think he's a kind of post-Vatican II conservative. That is, not 
a reactionary, but not a liberal at all either. He's happy to say that 
protestants like you and me are true brothers, not hellbound apostates. And 
he holds to theistic evolution, of a Lamarkian sort. He's read Aquinas, but 
I think the main religious influences on him are probably C.S.Lewis and 
Chesterton. He's a fan of both, and claims to have read everything by them. 
That's pretty "mainstream Christian."
         "Westwind" and "Detective" often come up on short lists of his 
personal favorites. And they're very orthodox.
         Where Wolfe might be "off" from Catholicism, in general, would be 
in secondary areas, such as his belief in the reality of ghosts. But when 
he writes a story about Lilith as Adam's first wife, it's pure fiction. 
Wolfe's Catholicism lets him toy with a (created) neoplatonic universe, as 
in the Urth cycles, but as a Calvinist I can also toy with that worldview 
in fiction also. How much such toying reflections what Wolfe actually 
thinks might be so is another question.
         But I don't think Wolfe strays far from the tradition in his 
personal beliefs.



<--prev V301 next-->