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Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 14:29:44 -0500
From: James Jordan 
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: Scylla & Oreb

At 02:06 PM 4/19/2002, you wrote:

>I did note that the one element of the  Briah cycle which does *not* fit in
>with neo-Catholic ideas is the frequent transfer of human identity.
>In the Bible there is the  "possession" of humans by indwelling demons or
>angelic forces, but the idea that a human soul could shift from body to body
>is not found.
>     hartshorn

Quite true, literally. But "mystically" the Communion unites believers not 
only with Christ but with one another, and even with the saints in heaven. 
Wolfe simply makes the "symbolic" into the "literal" in the Briah books. 
Severian literally drowns and comes back to life in his baptisms. People 
literally eat each other and participate in each other's memories. Wolfe is 
"getting at" Christian notions, but is doing so by making them "literal."
         And also, I suppose it depends on how much of a traditional 
transsubstantionist Wolfe is. Traditional RC theology is fairly 
"literalistic" in its view of Communion: the outward "accidents" remain 
bread and wine, but the inward "substance" is "really" (in the 
philosophical sense) the actual flesh and blood of Jesus Christ extended 
through space "into" the bread and wine. If Wolfe is traditionalistic on 
this point, then his use cannibalism and of identity transfer in the Briah 
books is even closer to his brand of Christianity than it would be to, say, 
mine, or to many modern Catholic theologians.
         Anyway, all this stuff in the Briah books is metaphorical for 
symbolic (in some senses) Christian notions, not a nod toward literal Hindu 



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