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From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes" 
Subject: RE: (urth) Re: Baptising the Little Gods
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 12:55:02 -0700


Hartshorn said:

> The Briah cycle is profoundly about Little Gods, and the way their
> false godhood becomes a friend and figure of the True god.
> It bears repeatedly on the process by which humans become Little
> Gods -  as Pas did, as Severian did, as Silk did, and as (we might
> say) - and, even more, and even more puzzlingly, it  bears on the
> truely divine process of *making that holy*.

Yes, this is very clearly _one_ thing these books deal with (and
5HC doesn't, which is a strike against its inclusion).

> I put it to you that this process is at the roots of Catholicism.

Now, there I (as Wolfe's fellow-Catholic) have to demur. That the
Catholic Church uses such "accretional" methods to baptize what is
good in local cultures and religions into Catholicism, there is no
doubt; that some of the saints (like Brigid, alas!) are probably 
legendary figures made out of local deities, I will agree. If I 
recall correctly, an effort was made in the '60s to "purge" at 
least some of the more clearly fictitious saints from the list.


The Saints are not "little gods"; catholics are forbidden to worship 
them in any way. They -- the real ones, at least, if not those who are
based on older legends -- are servants of God. They are "one with" us 
by the "Communion of Saints," the unity that Christ prays for His 
church to possess (see John's account of the Last Supper); they are
believed to intercede for us with God, not by any power of their own,
but the same way that Christians alive today pray for each other. (The
practice commonly referred to "praying to saints" is really asking the 
saints to pray for us.)

And, most importantly, they are not saints because of their own
egotistical attempts to elevate themselves to Godhood, but because of
their devotion to something beyond their own egos. Typhon-Pas is an
_anti_-Saint; rather than being elevated for his submission to God,
he refuses to submit to anything and elevates himself to false Godhead.



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