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Christianity and pseudo-Christianity in otherwise fantasy worlds

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Feo Takahari, Sep 13, 2015.

  1. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

  2. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    No great issue. Something to keep in mind:

    Contrary to what many Christians (and Jews, and Moslems) believe, their religion did not emerge in a vacuum. It's founders drew upon a collection of stories and myths spanning the entire middle east and beyond.

    A couple of minor examples, both from the OT:

    Moses - to Christians, Jews, and Moslems, the name of a mighty prophet. However, the name itself is actually Egyptian. More accurately, its part of a name, meaning 'servant of' or 'child of.' In Egyptian, it is usually combined with the name of a god. Most famous example would be 'Ramses' ('Servant of Ra.')

    Likewise, EVERBODY in the region very strongly believed in all manner of spirits, angels, and demons. These entities were deemed responsible for everything from fertility to the weather to ones emotional state, and there were entire classes of these beings found amidst the various pantheons. Take 'Cheribs.' In the ancient artwork, these are portrayed as lions or great cats with the heads of men - aka the Egyptian 'Sphinx.' And as with the prior example...'Senacherib' a rather unpleasant pagan Mesopotamian overlord who laid siege to Jerusalem. Part of his name is that of a class of divine entities, recognized as such in the bible.

    This borrowing continued right on into NT times...and beyond.
  3. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    It's not usually an issue. I'm not particularly a fan of it (I'm not really sure why), but I know a number of Christians who are actually drawn to that kind of fantasy.

    I'm a little curious as to whether practitioners of Islam feel the same way about Djinn.

    Truthfully, if he had included Jesus, I would've had mixed feelings about it, and at the very least it would've pulled me out of the story.
  4. Scribe Lord

    Scribe Lord Minstrel

    Undecided on this one. I generally dislike books where demons are running around, but then again, I really enjoyed Bartimaeus. I suppose it really depends on how it is done.

    I was under the the impression that it originated from the Hebrew for 'drew out'. Regardless, since the biblical Moses was apparently born in Egypt and raised by Egyptians this could make sense too.
  5. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

    According to the Bible, Moses was born in Egypt, but to Hebrew slaves. When the Pharaoh's daughter found him in the river, Moses' sister Miriam came and asked to find a Hebrew woman to be a nursemaid for the baby. The Pharaoh's daughter agreed, and Miriam gave Moses to their own mother, Jocheved. Moses was later returned to the royal household after he was weaned.
  6. Russ

    Russ Istar

    Considering that the OT says he was given this name (as opposed to his other names) by an Egyptian it certainly cannot come as any surprise that the name has Egyptian connections.
  7. Not all pagans hate Christians and Jews, as paganism is simply a term used for pre-Abrahamic polytheistic non-organized religions. And not all pagans are white either. Paganism is not a European exclusive club, it's a collection of various non-structured religions around the world. Also, organized religions such as Hellenism do not count as paganism.
    Gurkhal likes this.
  8. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

    Not sure I agree with this part of the post, but the rest is spot on.
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.
  9. D. Gray Warrior

    D. Gray Warrior Troubadour

    One of my current settings has a fantasy version of the Catholic Church because it is based on Renaissance Italy, and I think replacing it with a wholly invented religion would shake up the aesthetic and society too much, and I don't know if I have the motivationto think through the implications all the way through.

    Though, alchemy is proven to work in this setting, and is tolerated somewhat by the government.
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.
  10. The Dark One

    The Dark One Archmage

    Except for the bits about pre-Abrahamic and non-organised.

    Since when did the definition of paganism require these limits? Paganism simply refers to any religion which uses a pantheon - a multiplicity of deities who serve particular purposes. The other aspect of paganism is the relationship between god and believer - it's always defined by sacrifice. Hence what medieval scholars refer to as the paganisation of the church when patron saints were finally allowed, in deference to the residual pagan sentiments of early Christians with deep cultural links to pagan ritual. That's why prayer to patron saints happens...still.
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.

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