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From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes" <ddanehy@siebel.com>
Subject: RE: (whorl) Fallible Narrators and Even More Fallible Copyists:
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2001 12:57:13 


> Blish was Catholic?  Somehow I'd gotten the impression he was, at
> some point, an atheist and at another point (I forget the ordering)
> an Anglican, and that heresies and theology were to a large extent
> more a hobby to him than a matter of faith.  Was I off-base?  

Actually, you were right on target. Blish was an atheist through
the fifties -- but one of those atheists who _wants_ to believe,
if you know what I mean? 

And, like most rationalists with an attraction to religion, he
was particularly attracted to the Roman Catholic church and Thomism.
His trilogy "After Such Knowledge" (consisting of the historical
novel DOCTOR MIRABILIS, the contemporary fantasy BLACK EASTER 
[its second part, THE DAY AFTER JUDGMENT, should be included here],
and the SF novel A CASE OF CONSCIENCE) collectively presume the
literal truth of Catholicism at one level or another. The ending
of ACOC looks a _lot_ less ambiguous if viewed in the light (or,
rather, the darkness) of BLACK EASTER.

After moving to England in the late '60s, Blish was received 
into the Anglican church. I'm aware of only one bio of Blish, 
and I read it more than ten years ago; but from what I recall,
Anglicanism was a sort of compromise because for some reason
(possibly the fact that he was a divorcÚ?) he could not be
accepted into the Catholic church.

--Dan'l 


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