Christianity in the Chrestoverse

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Wed Jul 20 14:54:46 EDT 2005


Philip replied to Charlie...

>> Perhaps this is just a special case of the general problem of alternative
>> worlds, which we have discussed on numerous occasions - but I'm bothered
>> by the nature/existence/origins of Christianity in Chrestomanci's world.
>> It seems to exist (i.e. they attend church in Charmed Life, and a 
>> standard
>> C of E kind of affair it seems to be too), but how does Christianity fit
>> into that world? In particular, the miracles in the Gospels will surely
>> seem pretty humdrum from the point of view of a world where magic is
>> commonplace, won't they? So, either magic only became commonplace later
>> (which is unlikely, I think); or their Christianity and Bible are
>> different from ours, at least in some respects; or there's a problem with
>> DWJ's worldbuilding; or there's some other explanation I've missed.
>> Any thoughts?
>
> Hmm.  I don't think the Bible or the origins of Christianity can have been 
> any different from our world, since XII B is supposed to be our world, and 
> to have split off from XII A in the Middle Ages (14th Century, I seem to 
> recall, but I'm not sure)

Which would make for some pretty different history...it's said that the 
split happened when our world turned more toward technology and XII A turned 
more toward magic...I wonder if part of what caused the split was the 
emergence of the Inquisition in our world?  I can't see the Inquisition 
happening in a magic-oriented world (or not the way it did in our world, at 
least), which would change things like colonisation and the way the New 
World was dealt with at least somewhat.

Getting back to Charlie's original point...turning water into wine is 
probably well within the realms of "ordinary" magic, but I wonder about the 
loaves and the fishes.  It would surely take impractical amounts of magic to 
make five loaves and two small fishes feed several hundred people, so that 
would still seem miraculous to the people of XII A, I think.  And raising 
people from the dead is surely not something that magicians do on a regular 
basis?  And I'm inclined to think that the miracles were more in the way of 
proof that Jesus was what he said he was; his teachings and the Resurrection 
are the really important parts, so I can't see the Bible, at least, being 
different.

On the other hand, I do, now that you mention it, wonder about the Church of 
England-ness of that service in "Charmed Life".  *Could* the Anglican church 
have developed so similarly in a world with magic and without the 
Inquisition?  I can't off-hand think of a reason that Protestantism wouldn't 
have developed, but there's the whole avalanche effect; once you change one 
thing, other things change, and I begin to wonder if XII A could really be 
so like our world.

Dorian. 

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