Christianity in the Chrestoverse

Aimee Smith s4028253 at student.uq.edu.au
Wed Jul 27 08:37:13 EDT 2005


Forgive me if the discussion has swung past this already, but here is 
my contribution to the state of the thread a day or two ago:

Charlie said:

 >The idea (which I think somebody mooted - sorry, I've been away for a 
couple of days and returned to find squillions of fascinating posts on 
this topic) that the Christian god might >rule in Chrestomanci's world 
- or possibly throughout series 12 - while other gods rule elsewhere, 
is one I have trouble with. I just don't think the Christian god would 
settle for that. >Besides, it would scupper his claim to have created 
the universe *ab nihilo* if it turned out to be but one branch on a 
much larger tree.

I've only just come to this discussion too, but yep, that's what I 
thought too. The whole "one-God theory" is unable to be disentangled 
with the fact that he is and must be all powerful. If the Christian God 
didn't have governance over and didn't create the entirety of creation, 
absolutely everything in every universe and multiverse and dimension, 
then he's not God. He can't be, and he's not worth worshipping, cause 
there must have been an even greater being above and behind him that 
*really* encompasses and created everything. Therefore there must, by 
this theory, be one God, creator of everything, all powerful, outside 
of which there is nothing.

This would seem to indicate that if both our world and Christianity is 
included in DWJ's worlds it must be the same Christianity and have the 
same basic skeleton throughout the multiverse. Other 'gods' like Asheth 
in the Chrestoverse would then be interpreted by Christians in the 
Chrestoverse to be demons masquerading as the One True God, wouldn't 
they? How would *that* react with a truly Christian Chrestomanci? So my 
interpretation, by this logic, is that Christopher sees Christianity as 
The Thing To Do, an Institution.

I don't know what DWJ's theory is or how she harmonises Christianity 
with magic without discrediting Christianity entirely (there has been 
some interesting ideas during this discussion as to how she might 
explain it though). But even if authors do write from a Christian point 
of view there's nothing to say their version will stand up any more 
solid than something which hasn't addressed that issue. There's holes 
in every world that's created by an author, and more in fantasy than in 
other fiction I'd expect. It does do interesting things to my 
suspension of disbelief sometimes, but I learn to live with it and love 
the pretty ideas rather than believe they could be real :P.

You can't iron out every wrinkle in every fantastic world created by an 
author, but at least with DWJ you know you're getting a near-solid one, 
full of flavour and colour and realistic characters, well written and 
above all, fun. If you're lucky, you can even learn things through 
fantasy, just like through any fiction. Think of the G. K. Chesterton 
quote about fairy tales and dragons: important not because they tell us 
they exist, but because they tell us dragons can be defeated. You know 
the one.

Like Minnow and others I'm not surprised many fantasy authors have 
steered totally clear of Christianity in their works. It complicates 
things, I'd expect.

What did Tolkien say about all this? He was Catholic.

Aimee.

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