Religion and fantasy

Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk
Wed Aug 1 13:15:17 EDT 2001






Rebecca:

>>To me, the One does not bear very much resemblance to the Judeo-Christian
>>God, apart from the name (well spotted - I hadn't noticed that at all!).
>
> Odd.  Maybe it's just the way I think of G-d, but I, and please no one
> accuse me of heresy, do not see G-d as incapacle of making mistakes.  I am a
> fantasy-Jew, which means I believe in a multiplicity of godlike beings, but
> only one being "my" G-d.

This is a view I'd not encountered before.  If you consider God as one of many
deities, I can see that the One is a good fit, and concede most of your points
straight away.  I just find it very, very hard to interpret the Judaeo-Christian
tradition that way.  (I'm not going to argue this on the list - if you want to
continue this debate, I'm happy to do so in private)

> Therefore, Kankredin and Cenblith can be viewed as
> evil other deities (Call them incarnations of Satan, to translate to a wholy
> Christian view-point.)

Hmm.  I don't recall any implication that Cenblith was of the Undying, but yes.

Incarnations of Satan?  Well, yes, but that doesn't help me, actually.  I've
never been happy with Kankredin's promotion from an evil mage, possessing a bit
more Undying blood than the average human, in Spellcoats ("Two lines meet in him
... but he has misused his inheritance"), to the Evil One in Crown.

> and the One's inability to act because of them is
> reasonable.  It's been a long time since I read Dalemark, otherwise I'd have

Well, I don't believe that Satan has that sort of power over God, but this is my
personal belief.  I can see though that Cenblith binding the One could have been
the result of an episode analogous to the temptation of Christ in the wilderness
(sorry, can't call to mind any Jewish examples).

> more arguments.  I, personally, and I'm not sure how common this is in
> Judiasm, see G-d as an emotional being, rather than a flawless one, because
> being emotionless prevents one inherently from being flawless.  A supreme
> being would appreciate and respect and personal relationship with its
> underlings, otherwise it is merely a slave-owner, for which, I at least,
> would have no respect.

Hear, hear!  I can see nothing wrong with that last... except your "rather
than".  Why should God not be both emotional and flawless?  This is quite close
I think to the heart of Christianity - Christ, as the incarnation of God, was
"tempted as we are, yet without sin".  If he were emotionless, he would hardly
have been tempted as we are...

>>The One is not infinitely wise, but can be tricked by Cenblith - thus
>>showing that he has human fallibility of emotion.

I didn't mean here that God is emotionless.  I meant that he is emotionally
fallible...

>>The One, while accepting veneration from his people, is surprised and
>>touched when Tanaqui forms a personal attachment to him as her grandfather.

... and in a sense vulnerable.

>>Christians (not sure about the Jewish view) believe that such a personal
>>relationship is the natural one for believers.

My objection was not that the One should be capable of emotion, but that he
should find it so difficult to enter into a personal relationship even with
Tanaqui.

>>While Ammet and some of the other Undying look to the One as their Grand
>>Father, it is clear (not least from Anoreth's comments) that Tanamil at
>>least does not.
>
> Odd, I always viewed Tanamil and Ammet as the same person.

I don't think so.  When Tanaqui is worried that Tanamil and Robin might be too
closely related, Anoreth reassures Tanaqui that Tanamil is "of himself" rather
than a (close) descendant of the One.

Ammet, on the other hand, refers to the One as "our Grand Father", and I take
that to imply descent.

The modern cult of the Undying distinguishes the Piper (Tanamil) from the
Earthshaker (Ammet).

The only connection I can see is that according to the Guide to Dalemark the
piping often heard on the Holy Islands is ascribed to Tanamil (I prefer to take
a strong reading of the Guide to Dalemark, and to say that this last point is by
no means settled...)

Philip.







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