Saturday, 28 June 2014

Gods And God

(In Lancaster University Religious Studies Department, someone displayed a cartoon on the noticeboard. A man in pajamas kneels in prayer beside his bed. Above the bed hovers a familiar figure with a hammer. The man says, "Oh, I'm sorry, Thor. I thought when I said, 'God,' I'd get, well, you know...Jehovah!")

Poul Anderson does present a very few details about human religion after the Long Night. Evalyth "...from a half barbaric part of Kraken..." tells her unborn child, "You will grow the gods meant you should."
-Poul Anderson, Flandry's Legacy (New York, 2012), pp. 663, 687.

In accordance with Krakenite custom, Evalyth intends to kill her Atheian husband's killer. In the absence of any contrary evidence, I will assume that Captain Jonafer is also from Atheia, the most civilized of the Allied planets. Jonafer appeals to Evalyth:

"'I hoped...that you'd agree to let the man go...'
"'In the name of God -'
"'Your God.'" (p. 700)

So we seem to have barbaric polytheist Krakenites and civilized monotheist Atheians? But no one makes any comparison of Lokonese cannibalism with Christian communion.


  1. Hi, Paul!

    Because, altho the Highlanders of Lokon tried to rationalize and limit the cannibalism we see in "The Sharing of Flesh," it was nothing like the Mass. The cannibalism we see on Lokon was not wanted, it was forced on the Lokonese by first a genetic accident and then a centuries long isolation from contact with other planets.


  2. Sean,
    Sure. When the New Dawn crew are starting to investigate cannibalism and consulting their computer, it mentions ceremonial cannibalism so that was the point at which mention might have been made of religious ceremonies.

    1. Hi, Paul!

      Granted, and special mention was made of the grisly massacre sacrifices and cannibalism practiced by the Aztecs as the best known example of cannibalism practiced for religious reasons. Other Indian nations had practiced human sacrifices, but nowhere on the scale of the Aztecs.

      As Evalyth continued trying to understand why something as wasteful and counterproductive as cannibalism was universally practiced on Lokon, the computer informed her as well of the cannibalism of the Carib Indians, which superficially seemed applicable to the low landers. But that was soon dismissed, as we know.