Author Topic: [TAW SPOILERS] Let's talk religion  (Read 2470 times)

Offline Tarion

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[TAW SPOILERS] Let's talk religion
« on: October 07, 2015, 10:10:42 AM »
Hey all,

I've been through TAW twice at this point, and I thought I'd get down some of my thoughts on setting, because I'm loving it.  So, let's talk religion. 

There appear to be 2 major religious movements in the setting.  I'm going to start with God in Heaven.  This seems to be the primary religion.  It appears to be monotheistic and includes Archangels, which have been sighted in the real world by aeronauts.  These sightings are apparently credible, and (with other signs) indicate "dark times". 

Most interestingly, the Spires and their Builders seem to be part of it.  In Chapter 27, it's stated that the Builders laid out guidelines in the "High Manual".  These are treated as religious scripture - Habble Landing is remarked as "a place of disinclination to piety" for not following these rules, and for it's few small chapels to God in Heaven.  This is also evident from Lady Lancaster's prayer in the prologue ("God in Heaven, Archangels, merciful Builders, please"). 

We also know that the Enemy's goal is to draw out something that remains in Heaven.  This was part of the assault on the Wayist temple - Sending a message to draw "them" out.  Whether the message is the loss of life, the damage to the temple, or simply making it clear that the book has been stolen (and not just accidentally destroyed in the fire) is yet to be seen.  Although I'd lean towards the latter.

Finally, we know that the book contains names.  I have to assume, at this point, that Butcher is messing with us by using that specific word at the start of sentences.  "Names" or "names"?  Does it matter?  Anyway, names that are important in some sort of fight against Heaven or it's residents.  This could be the Builders, the Archangels, or God itself. 

There's also the Wayists.  We know a few things about them, although not as much.  They wear saffron robes, which is a fairly clear reference to Eastern religion (This is also evident in their philosophy).  I'm just going to quote wikipedia here

Quote
In Sanatan Dharma (Hinduism), the deep saffron color is associated with sacrifice, religious abstinence, quest for light and salvation. Saffron or "Bhagwa" is the most sacred color for the Hindus and is often worn by Sanyasis who have left their home in search of the ultimate truth.

Buddhist monks in the Theravada tradition typically wear saffron robes (although occasionally maroon—the color normally worn by Vajrayana Buddhist monks—is worn). (The tone of saffron typically worn by Theravada Buddhist monks is the lighter tone of saffron shown above.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saffron_(color)#Saffron_in_culture

Throw in their focus on martial arts, and it appears that they're at least inspired by the idea of Shaolin monks. 

They also appear to have a reverence for books. 

Offline Burger_Prince

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Re: [TAW SPOILERS] Let's talk religion
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2015, 07:03:17 PM »
I got the impression that the Builders were the "God in Heaven". Say that they forsaw what ever cataclysm happened to the world so they built the Spires for the majority of humanity and they themselves constructed some type of space station for them. Kind of like in Dan Simmons " Illium". Then the Archangels are some type of spaceship or shuttle used when they have to intervene against the Enemy. Whatever that red-eyed thing Folly tangeled with is.

Offline Agravaine

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Re: [TAW SPOILERS] Let's talk religion
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2015, 07:58:31 PM »
I think that if you boiled down Christianity, Islam and Judaism enough you'd end up with a vague concept of a God in heaven and some angles that serve him.  At least that was the impression that I got from it.  I agree that the "Way" is a vague boiled down Buddhism.

I'm not sure that I agree that the Archangels aren't actual beings, rather than some kind of contrivance; however, the fact that Folly is able to communicate with Predator seems to support your theory.  Why would "Names" do anything to lure some "ships" down to Earth where they could be destroyed, however?  However, from DF a "Name" can be used to get the attention of certain beings.  In Dresdenverse, you couldn't summon Uriel into a circle (that would hold him), but if he was inclined to show up, as he was for Dresden in Changes, he might put in an appearance. 

Offline Don

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Re: [TAW SPOILERS] Let's talk religion
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2015, 01:49:59 AM »
I agree that the "Way" is a vague boiled down Buddhism.

Nitpicking here when I probably shouldn't be, because Eastern religions are very fluid, but I got Taoism from that.

From wiki (emp. added):
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Taoism (sometimes Daoism) is a philosophical, ethical or religious tradition of Chinese origin, or faith of Chinese exemplification, that emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao (also romanized as Dao). The term Tao means "way", "path", or "principle", and can also be found in Chinese philosophies and religions other than Taoism.

But yes, there's a ton of crossover between Taoism and Buddhism. 

-------------------------

What isn't clear is that the Builders actually are related to God in Heaven.  The religion and the builders could have been two separate things/entities, and it is simply assumed that the Builders must have been God in Heaven, because who else would or could have created such a marvelous sanctuary for Humans to take shelter from an inhospitable world?

Perhaps humanity (under the sufferance of felinedom, of course) is squatting in something that belongs to that Enemy.  Now the Enemy is back, and they want their Spires back.
Don is the Prince of Anarchy  :P

Please excuse my grammar, and speling.

Offline knnn

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Re: [TAW SPOILERS] Let's talk religion
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2015, 03:18:18 AM »
Note also that this religion has a notion of a "hell".
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Offline Tarion

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Re: [TAW SPOILERS] Let's talk religion
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2015, 08:41:05 PM »
Note also that this religion has a notion of a "hell".
While I suspect you're right, I'm not sure that we can say that conclusively at this point.

There's a lot of use of "hell" in the sense of "blow them to hell", but very little mention of it in a religious context.

There are two examples a quick search turns up that might be relevant.

Quote
The impression of the whole was that of rampant life, growing as wild as the deadly green hell covering the surface of the world
That's interesting (although not capitalised, unlike Heaven and the next example I've got).  That seems to be using hell in the colloquial "miserable place" sense, rather than the metaphysical.

There is also
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“But there was screaming like souls in Hell from inside, and what looked like smoke from a fire.”
That's the only example I've found that's capitalised, and it is a place for souls.  However, I'm not sure we can definitely tie it specifically to the God Beyond (Although I suspect that it is).

Worth considering as well - Heaven is apparently a real place where something resides.  Hell quite possibly does too. 

Of course, given that the Enemy appears to be on the surface, and the surface is pretty hellish, I wouldn't be surprised if there was some overlap there. 

Offline Snark Knight

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Re: [TAW SPOILERS] Let's talk religion
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2015, 11:41:50 PM »
All I can say is the references to Archangels have me waiting for Mr. Sunshine to make a crossover appearance.

Offline Yuillegan

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Re: [TAW SPOILERS] Let's talk religion
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2015, 12:45:45 AM »
All I can say is the references to Archangels have me waiting for Mr. Sunshine to make a crossover appearance. 


I happen to agree with you. I mean Jim does play with us a bit but I got the impression he'd considered a crossover from his slightly teasing answer in a Q&A a while back. It was a question about whether DF would cross over with CA. I would definitely love to see CS as part of the DFU. Consider the surface creatures and the Enemy. Especially with that recent WoJ about Outsiders looking different in each universe.

I also rather enjoy your take Burger_Prince. Reminds me a lot of Zelzanzy's Lord of Light. Super advanced techno-gods and what not. I don't think he'll go there at this point however.

Offline Fedd

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Re: [TAW SPOILERS] Let's talk religion
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2015, 02:41:17 PM »


I happen to agree with you. I mean Jim does play with us a bit but I got the impression he'd considered a crossover from his slightly teasing answer in a Q&A a while back. It was a question about whether DF would cross over with CA. I would definitely love to see CS as part of the DFU. Consider the surface creatures and the Enemy. Especially with that recent WoJ about Outsiders looking different in each universe.

I also rather enjoy your take Burger_Prince. Reminds me a lot of Zelzanzy's Lord of Light. Super advanced techno-gods and what not. I don't think he'll go there at this point however.

Is it possible that the Cinder Spires world IS the DF Earth after the events of the BAT? There seems to be some evidence that the planet is a version of Earth after an apocalypse.