FIND in
<--prev V204 next-->
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 09:09:13 -0700
From: maa32 
Subject: (urth) catholic acceptance of genesis

A few things I wanted to say that are probably already obvious.  One of them 
is that the Severian's parallels with Christ are painfully painfully obvious, 
but the one miracle that can't be rationally explained by the power over time 
that the other miracles of Severian can be explained by (except in UoTNS) 
occurs when the water changes to wine at the beginning of Claw.  What is going 
on here?  Bringing people back to life can be seen as a reversal of time in a 
localized area, certainly a power that the hierodules might be able to grant 
their servant.  However, that is so explicitly different it seems to be 
transmutation rather than transtemporality. Later in Urth, the return of the 
child's limb to normal seems to smack of transmutation as well, but I always 
assumed it was a return to life of the reproducing and developing cells that 
had failed to be completed.  Or is he creating new matter? I think there is a 
big difference between creating matter and controlling time, and an imitator 
of Christ is not likely to have either of those capabilities (from my 
experience). Of course, since Gene says Severian is imitating Christ, well 
then, I guess that's the interpretation we have to go with.

Also, from a Catholic perspective, I don't think the presence of the rainbow 
is important to Urth of the New Sun's flood.  It is merely a symbol - there is 
the idea that the first 11 chapters of Genesis or so are simply a story that 
helps justify the ways of God to man in a a primitive fashion that primitive 
man could understand; its literal truth is not as important as its functional 
truth.  I think this is pretty well accepted by Catholics, who insist that 
divinely inspired does not equal literal truth, but rather symbolic 
explanation, or something like that.  I think the Pope's statement that 
"evolution might be more than a theory" certainly tends to undermine a strict 
Catholic adherence to the literal nature of scripture.  (And I think a 
scientist who works with the textbook definition of "theory" might get an 
immense kick out of the Pope's statement).

Marc Aramini


<--prev V204 next-->