Cults & Non-cults

From: argrath@aol.com
Date: Tue 12 Apr 1994 - 03:01:10 EEST



Joerg says in X-RQ-ID: 3578:
> Cutting a flaming first reaction, a question, Martin: How do you define
> a cult, when you say there weren't any in Prax?

      Greg Stafford had something to say about this at the Con, and it will appear in the booklet from David Cheng. To paraphrase: there is a continuum from spirit cults all the way through regular divine cults (as presented in CoP and GoG) to mystical entities that can't be worshiped. So it's a bit like defining "red"--I know it when I see it, but giving you the exact wavelengths of the boundaries is a bit problematic. I wanted to write a first order
approximation here, but I found it to be too obvious and fuzzy to be helpful.

> Prax lay in one of the three directions the Theyalan missionaries went
> in the First Age. Apparently, by around 35 ST, they came with Humakti
>bodyguards (according to Cults of Prax, p.32). Surely they brought the
>concept of cultic worship with them, and they seem to have reached the
>Paps, where remnants of the Golden Age priesthood held out.

      Well, the reference you cite speaks of an army, not missionaries. I'd just have to think that the missionaries had little success, given the statement that Praxians didn't have cult structures until after contact with the PHP. As for the Paps, yes, these oasis people are useful to the Praxians, but that doesn't mean there's any osmosis of religious ideas/practices.

> The Uz from Dagori Inkarth knew cultic worship at least from the Dawn
>on. Another possible 1st Age influx of these practises.

      Hum.  You gonna try to be like a troll?  
      Seriously, I don't think the Praxians had any reason to think their
religious structures needed changing until the PHP kicked their butts. And if it ain't broke, don't cast Repair.

--Martin



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