[Glorantha]reality of magic & religion?

From: simon_hibbs2 <simon.hibbs_at_marconi.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 10:14:29 -0000

Jane Williams:

> But AFAIK they saw the supernatural as something which
> was done *to* them, and which they might try to
> intercede with deities to stop (or continue). I don't
> know of any cases where they felt it was something
> they did, themselves, directly.

Only if you consider the priests and saints to be 'themselves'. Most medieval pasants, and many people to this day, believe that the saints and to a lesser but still very real extent priests, do have supernatural powers.

> Bless crops, increase luck: yes: and who knows whether
> they worked or not?

Many poeple believed fervently that they did, and in fact still do. I've come across this over and over again. People with religious faith aren't faking it in the vague hope that their religion just might possibly be correct. Often they realy are convinced that it actualy is correct, and that they have real evidence - even proof - that this is so. You may not accept that 'proof', but they do. Faith and fague, baseless hope are not the same thing.

Andrew Larsen :

> Firstly, while
> belief in the supernatural was common in the Middle Ages, and
> certainly
> influences the way people understood the world around them,
> it does not mean
> that belief in the supernatural was universal. One can find rather
> skeptical individuals during the Middle Ages and Early Modern
> period, and
> even a few likely athiests.

So what you're saying is that opinion in the Middle Ages was pretty much as divided as it is in Glorantha.

> Secondly, belief in the supernatural is not the same as belief
> religion.

Yep, still sounds a lot like Glorantha.

> ...One might
> experience something which could be interpreted as divine
> punishment, such
> as an illness or accident), but one might also interpret that
> as bad luck,

One might, or might not, but many people in the real world did believe in divine punishment - Turning Lot into a pillar of salt, striking Onan blind, striking down the rich christian family in Jerusalem that pretended to give their money to the poor (I forget their names). Many people realy believed that these things happened. Again, much like the situation in Glorantha.

> In Glorantha, given the effects of spirits of reprisal,
> conversion is a much more problematical activity.

And yet it does happen all the time. Often the new religion can offer effective protection against spiritual reprisals. The Lunars convert people all the time.

> ...I see no reason why Gloranthan religion
> should be any
> more faith-driven than RW polytheistic systems.

And yet over and again polytheists seems just as willing to sacrifice their lives for their faith as anyone else with a strongly held faith. Are you realy saying that Hindus are inherently less true to their faith simply because theirs isn't a monotheistic religion?

>...They involve
> ritually re-enacting something on this plane.

Nice try, but you're comparing theism in Glorantha to monotheism here which is an very biased comparrison. The Malkioni have a very different approach to the Orlanthi. The Celts and Vikings certainly believed it was possible to cross over into the lands of the gods, giants and the Fey, as did the greeks. What was Orpheus doing when he visited the Underworld if not heroquesting?

Simon Hibbs

--__--__-- Received on Wed 18 Feb 2004 - 06:56:53 EET

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