[LMB] Athosian religion? Questions for LMB

Lois Bujold lbujold at myinfmail.com
Wed Nov 30 19:19:11 GMT 2016

[LMB] Athosian religion? Questions for LMB
Matthew George matt.msg at gmail.com
Tue Nov 29 23:53:25 GMT 2016

MG: I was raised in the Orthodox Church, so I presumed the planet was named
after the famous Greek Orthodox monastery where no females are permitted.

LMB:  Correct.  With a bit of the Musketeer (who also was named after 
the peninsula) thrown in.

MG: (Granted that said monastery is viewed as being more than a little odd.)
  What little Athosian theology we're exposed to seems to my eye to be a
plausible development from (very) traditional Christianity theology.  With
some admittedly nontraditional elaborations...

Ms. Bujold:  did you have a defined conception of Athosian religious
beliefs as you wrote EoA, or was it merely a means to the thematic end?

Religious thinking obviously has informed a lot of the moral and ethical
themes in your writing; although they've never been doctrinal, they've
contained veiled references to cultural Christianity (I would guess due to
your own upbringing).  But did you have something specific in mind when you
conceived Athos?  Or, in the world you made, was it merely a reference
designed to convey the extremity of its practices?

Matt G.

LMB:  It was mainly for the misogyny.  I was also thinking of the large 
contrast between, say, modern Boston and the vision builders of the Bay 
Colony had likely had for its future.

For all that the original peninsula eschews women, it remains entirely 
parasitical upon their labors for its continued existence.  Which makes 
it only the extreme case of a universal one.  The planet Athos just 
takes that a step further.  Also, it amused me to make the dudes do all 
the housework.

As I've said in other interviews, in our world the three main models for 
all-male societies are armies, prisons, and monasteries, of which only 
the latter seemed stable enough over time to successfully raise children.

Ta, L.

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