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From: Jim Jordan <jbjordan@gnt.net>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Wolfe's Answer re Torturers' Guild -Reply
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 1997 13:56:00 

[Posted from WHORL, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]

At 08:10 AM 6/17/97 -0400, you wrote:
>[Posted from WHORL, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]
><<14. "Is there a member (current, former, or future) of the Order of
>Seekers for Truth and Penitence on the Whorl?"  I'm going to
>interpret this question in the broadest possible sense, since that
>seems to be what Parsons wants.  Yes, there is.  It is Silk.>>
>Nutria writes:
>>>The Order for Seekers of Truth and Penitence is (tada!) the Christian
>Church, or the Catholic Church. Silk is a member of it in the proper sense.
>Severian starts as a member of a perverse antichrist copy of it.
>Thus, "in the broadest sense," both are members of it.>>
>Thanks for you comment, but I don't follow your logic.  Membership in a
>group usually disqualifies one from membership the group's "opposite."  If
>you're NRA, you're unlikely to have signed up for Citizens Against
>Handguns.  Same for Republicans/Democrats.  Or citizenship in different
>countries (you lose your citizenship when you swear oath to another.) 
>Granted that "opposite" groups share the same subject matter, for
>example, handguns, or politics, or religion.  When you interpret "in the
>broadest sense" so _broadly_ <g>, it tends to lose any meaning.  Wolfe
>typically does not speak this way.

	Well, I sure won't burn at the stake for my thinking here! But in
Christian theology, both Church and Antichurch are the same place. Roman
Catholic theologians will say that just as a good Pope is the Vicar of
Christ, so a bad Pope is an antichrist. Another way of putting it is that
the shadow anti-church exists alongside the true church. This is definitely
taught in the Bible.
	Now, how much of this is in Wolfe's mind? I don't know. But "Seekers of
Truth and Penitence" is a perfectly good descriptive name for the Church.
And, Severian's order is just like a monastic order in certain ways.
Considering that both parish churches (Silk) and orders (Severian) exist
within the Church, and that the Church can be more or less faithful, mixed
with idolatry (Silk), even reversing her role (Severian) -- then "in the
broadest sense" both are in the same institution.
	What interests me now is to see if there are any more hints as to a
connection between the Towers and a Cathedral. As you know, the early
chapters of Shadow are loaded with sacramental imagery. When I have the
time, I'd like to explore this a bit more -- unless someone else does so
and posts it.

Nutricious Nutria

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