[LMB] The Spirit Ring

Matthew George matt.msg at gmail.com
Sat Sep 11 14:54:42 BST 2021

On Fri, Sep 10, 2021 at 4:49 PM catherine muir <c_muir68 at hotmail.com> wrote:

> To be specific:   In Cordelia’s Honour,  there is a discussion of religion
> between Ezar and Cordelia along the lines of Theism is really tough and
> atheism is a comforting religion.    Cordelia’s theism surfaces in
> throwaway remarks thereafter.

As there isn't a convenient word for 'not believing in an afterlife',
'theism' has to stand in.

> In FF, the specific reference to the Christian parable of the Lost Lamb is
> used when Leo is deciding to retrieve Tony.  Further references make it
> clear that the workers in the lab include at least one Buddhist, probably
> one Hindu, and the main villain seems to worship only his own self-interest.

His =unenlightened= self-interest.

> Here,  Ethan’s religion is the bedrock for all that he does, even although
> we get very few details (it seems to have grown from a fairly right-wing
> misreading of a couple of biblical passages ).

The association of male-only monasteries and the name 'Athos' is at least a
thousand years older than the descriptive political category 'right-wing'.
And the idea that the female presence contaminates, in an organized
religious context, is much, much older than that.

Ethan's religion is an offshoot of Orthodox Christianity, probably from a
Greek cultural background.  I don't recommend suggesting to theologians of
that faith that their religion stems from a 'misreading of a couple of
biblical passages'.  You'll lose the argument.  And possibly some teeth.

> Then, having written of a world where gods are immanent,  it is only
> logical to turn to one where gods are absent – the WGW.  Is religion also
> absent?  Organised religion, yes – but what save a religious conviction is
> driving the Lakewalkers?  They certainly seem to feel that corporately they
> have a Mission, to which their lives and deaths are completely dedicated.
>  The farmers, by comparison, have farming and the land, and a civil society
> but no belief system as such.   Morality, yes; religion, no.

Possibly the most unrealistic aspect of the WGW, including the existence of
malices.  Even Barrayar, which seems to have been founded by post-religious
scientifically-educated people, developed one or more folk religions.  The
farmers' not having some kind of religious customs is downright odd,
sociologically speaking.

Matt G.

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