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From: Tim Boolos <timboolos@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Neighbor + Inhumu + One?
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 08:26:35 

--- Alice Turner <pei047@attglobal.net> wrote:


>  I disagree with almost all the specifics that Pat.
> Rat puts forth with
> regard to this series, but I agree with him that it
> is theologically
> conceived. To me, it illustrates the ideas of the
> second-century heretic
> Origen (who was consigned to hell on 15 counts of
> anathema by his fellow
> Church Fathers) who believed that, as angels could
> sin and fall, demons
> could repent and redeem themselves and begin to
> rise. Instead of a
> static and everlasting heaven and hell, there would
> be a sort of
> cyclical motion with, eventually, all things turning
> to God. (It's a
> little more complex, but that's the general idea.)
> The system that Wolfe
> has laid out here is fairly simple: the Neighbors or
> VPs stand in for
> angels, the inhumi for demons or devils, and human
> beings are shown
> being both noble and outrageously wicked and,
> especially, quarreling
> incessantly with one another. The ingestion of blood
> (and the mysterious
> "secret") do change the inhumi nature toward that of
> their
> victims--what's more we see the naked yearning of
> all three of the young
> inhumi to be "real" girls and boys, to aspire upward
> toward humanity
> (this would be how Origen put it--humanity is the
> middle state beween
> devil and angel).
Just a note on Origen.  His heresy charges did not
have to do with the redeemability or not of demons
(that is in line with Orthodox Theology), rather with
the "pre-existence" of souls and a sort of cosmic
recycling that Alga alluded to, among other things. 
Origen was only considered a heretic towards the end
of his life.  His early teachings are still held in
regard among theologians.

As far as Inhumu/demon parallel I found their wanting
to be a 'real' boy or girl (as well as the allusion
near the end of OBW to their being no mor dangerous
than crocodiles) to be more like the wistful passages
in C. S. Lewis' "Screwtape Letters".  Lewis' Screwtape
recognizes that humans are superior to the demons and
on occasion wishes he could have some of the human
advantages, but also recognizes and uses human
weakness and tendency to stray to trap and enslave
them.  Not a perfect allegory, I'll admit, but one
that connected a little for me.

I'm enjoying the theological discussions tremendously.
Like Patera Nutria I am ordained, but in the Eastern
Orthodox Christian Church which shares many
theological notions (and rejects some as well) with
the Catholic Church.  However, I would not like this
board to be exclusively devoted to counting angels on
the head of a pin.


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