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Author Topic: Eliminating the church from Santharia  (Read 4342 times)
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Nsikigan Ho´Tonanese Yourth
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« on: 10 September 2008, 11:11:27 »

Art- you mentioned you didin't want the word church in our annals anymore?
http://www.santharia.com/bestiary/spiders.htm
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Special Abilities. Spiders have the unique ability to be able to spin beautiful webs out of silk that they produce through their spinnerets. Webs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the most simplistic the other most intricate and complex. Some Spiders will take up residence in a field in the tall grass or under rocks or logs and create a web with a funnel at the end where the Spider may wait for its prey. Others may intricate webs that have something like a platform in the center of the web. Others create webs shaped like bowls, hanging like delicate nets to catch the rain, while others appear as domes as though of some silver church. Some create simple webs shaped simply like triangles, while others create orb-webs, or webs in which threads of silk extending from a middle point are covered in a spiral of a different threads. Orb threads are the most known.


http://www.santharia.com/people/lucif_koller.htm
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Appearance. Lucif was not extraordinary in any way, physically. He stood just under 2 peds, and weighed no more than one and a half pygges in his prime. He had night black hair and sea green eyes which always had a tired, pleasant stare to them. Stories say his eyes never closed, even for sleep, so as not to let his women sneak away, as the tale goes. During his soldier days, he wore the uniform of the Knights of the Flame, which consisted of a white tunic with the emblem of a flaming sun on the chest. This was worn over everything, from bloody battle armour to church attendance garment.


http://www.santharia.com/places/vista_castle.htm
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The History of Vista Castle. From the historical point of view Vista Castle also is mentioned several times in the annals of Santharia and - of course - of the ancient kingdom of Eyelia, of which the former Vista once was proud capital. However, it is reported that the terrible earthquake in the 15th century b.S. cut through the thriving town like "an elemental maw from hell opening suddenly in order to devour the falseness of pride and wealth reigning the city" - as written in the "Purgatoria" by the cleric Stinus of Vista from the church of the Silver Cross.


http://www.santharia.com/religions/grothar.htm
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Smaller temples are located around the country; another attractive marble dome is located in the northern quarter of Strata, and of course there is the ancient so-called Church of the Silver Cross at Vista Castle, near New-Santhala. It is believed that this odd name comes from the inlaid mithril compass rose set into the mosaic floor, which before the recent restorations was mostly invisible with grime and tarnish, so that only four of the sixteen directions showed clearly!


http://www.santharia.com/library_old/novels/blood_of_the_demon_3.htm
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The blinding sunlight on the one side of the street was ruddled, while the looming spires cast their giant shadows over the other half. As he regained his composure he sniffed the tart odour of his room. Its lifeless scent seemed to hang in the air like a plague. He must leave he thought; he would not regret the money that he had already spent on the room, if it meant he could escape its squalidness. After a hearty breakfast, it was time to clear up some unfinished duties. Ergoth’s task was simple; he was to secure passage to Ithanpul. The light of the sun was just drifting behind some clouds as he came sauntering into the side street where the sea warden’s office was located. Hol’mangar, he thought, was without charm and with the exception of its grand spires was not very impressive. A few ornate churches, a handful of sparsely coloured flower gardens, and even the clothing of the townsfolk were colourless. Many of the poor along the streets and alleys brought to mind the starving children back home, with their skeleton like fingers waving aimlessly for more. He often wanted to give more, but he knew it was useless to try and satisfy the eternal yearning of their wasted faces.

And now, Santharia can be free of the monethistic analouge.
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Nsikigan Yourth, Eyelian extraordinare.

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Bard Judith
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« Reply #1 on: 10 September 2008, 11:40:29 »

Having overlooked the incendiary title, may I assume that 'chapel', 'hall of worship', 'shrine', 'temple', and other such nomenclature are safe from iconoclasts? 

  I've already back-justified 'Silver Cross', as I recall, at Art's request, linking it to the giant compass set in the floor rather than to a Roman instrument of crucifixion displayed as a religious symbol...

Likewise, I hope there is no need to be too paranoid about terms like 'monk', 'nun', 'sister', 'monastery', and so on?   We are clearly in a relatively tolerant,  polytheistic society, and people will need more, not less, terms for divines.
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #2 on: 11 September 2008, 02:32:46 »

Oh, in case the term "church" makes sense in our medieval setting and is not considered too much of a reference to Earthen concepts, we could use it as well. Though if I remember correctly we actually had that discussion on that particular term and I guess we said it's better to use other terms than "church" itself. I could be wrong, though. Of course I'm aware of the fact that there are still references on the site to the term "church" - but sometimes we get wiser in the development process and decide not to use certain words we had used without questioning a while.

Personally I wouldn't like to abolish terms like "monks", "monastery", "sister" etc. and inventive explanations like for the "Silver Cross" are very creative. We should just be aware of how far we want to go. Especially when belief is concerned some might see it as troublesome to use certain symbols or words, while others don't have that background and see no problems with it. So we need to be careful here a bit what still sounds appropriate for our fantasy world, and how we explain things.
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« Reply #3 on: 11 September 2008, 02:48:08 »

Typical! Just as I start to muse on some religious stuff, someone wants to get rid of it.

Nsikigan 'Henry the eigth' Yourth
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« Reply #4 on: 11 September 2008, 03:17:32 »

Eighth? :P
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« Reply #5 on: 11 September 2008, 03:33:19 »

I must have dropped it somewhere!
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Nsikigan Ho´Tonanese Yourth
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« Reply #6 on: 11 September 2008, 06:08:04 »

Ah... King Nsiki VIII... I do like the look of it!
Sorry about the provocative title... I am a devout christian, this was just in response to a comment by Art in my town entry.
So, do what you shall with the list, I just compiled a list of the times where the specific word "church" was used, and compiled them here.
So, do what you shalt with this.
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Nsikigan Yourth, Eyelian extraordinare.

Some men aren't looking for anything logical like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn. - The Dark Knight

Wisdom begins in wonder. ~ Socrates

A government in which the majority rule in all cases cannot be based on justice, even as far as men understand it- HD Thoreau
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« Reply #7 on: 11 September 2008, 08:17:20 »

Same here, Nsiki!  I do agree that 'church' specifically has a Christian connotation, and it occurs so infrequently that it might not be a bad idea to replace or substitute those references.   (It's also true that 'monk' and 'nun' are used for Buddhist and Thai holy folk as well as medieval divines, and so are more widespread....I'm not seriously worried about that  :) )

It would be a pity to lose 'unchurched' ('untempled' just doesn't have the same ring), 'christened' and the like.   I just wouldn't want to see too much paranoia, over this or over scientific terms used for animals and plants.  We cannot expect everyone to invent unique names for stamens or horns, now, can we?  Nor would we want everyone to write like Coren or Tharoc or Judith - the variety of tone and style is what adds so much flavour to Caelereth!    I'm sure political correctness hasn't found its way to Santharia yet (thank Ava.....)

Sorry to sound so wary, but we don't want to live in fear of the Goodspeak Literary Police coming round to savage our dear little entries....
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« Reply #8 on: 11 September 2008, 21:38:33 »

I don't see that the word church should be banned...just be wary of how it is used. Sermon, pew, pulpit, baptism, wafer and cup...etc are acceptable words in medieval society. Temple seems more fitting than church, however, in fantasy terms (except the world of Eberron with the Church of the Silver Flame...)

But yeah, let's not be so paranoid about word usage as much. That would really crimp the creativity of us writers.  thumbup
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« Reply #9 on: 11 September 2008, 23:41:56 »

"Sermon, pew, pulpit, baptism, wafer and cup...etc are acceptable words in medieval society."

Most certainly - in Britain and Europe during the middle ages when the predominant (almost total) religion was Catholic (pre-Reformation) Christianity!
But this is medieval/renaissance Caelereth, dripping with magic, riddled with different races, with thousands of years of recorded history and a multitude of faiths and deities who are active in their spheres, not to mention "every common bush alive with" - well, if not God, then a nature spirit or a life force...

We just need to avoid words that have such specific connotations that they really only create one image in a reader's head. Oddly enough, such words can cause contention with either a passionate defender of the faith (who doesn't want the association tainted or diluted) or with an equally determined atheist/antagonist (who may perceive it as a way to proselytize that faith in a context where it does not belong or actually exist).    I do have experience with this (she says ruefully, recalling old issues)...

Some words have enough flexibility that they can be utilized with thought, while others must needs be redefined if they are to be useful.

"Monk" can easily be altered from the 'Friar Tuck' picture that pops into the mind's eye with a few simple adjectives:  'warrior monk'  'saffron-robed monk' or 'martial monk' all conjure up visions of the Asian priest, perhaps barefoot, tunic'ed, queue whipping behind his head as he floats in mid-kick.....

'Temple' needs only an adjective here or there to change smoothly from the Grecian temple (pure white stone) to the Buddhist temple (huge red columns) or the Shangri-la temple monastery (smoke-darkened wood clinging to an icy mountainside)

Even 'sermon' can be as dour as a punishment-fire's warning to the young novices or as refreshing as the 'sermons in the brook' that an out-of-doors devotee of nature heard.     

But the rites of baptism, communion, and so on, which are specific to the Christian faith, are perhaps too emotion-charged to be used as such.  Likewise 'circumcision' or 'keeping Passover' would not be usable, though medieval Jews did indeed practise both!   
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Tharoc Wargrider
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« Reply #10 on: 12 September 2008, 03:58:52 »

In the words of, in my opinion, the gretaest philosopher and social-commentator alive today, "Political correctness is the language of cowardice. F*** political correctness, I say."

Billy Connelly
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Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #11 on: 12 September 2008, 07:02:59 »

Tharoc, that quote expresses my feelings on political correctness graphically and perfectly.  thumbup

I have to agree with the Bard, certain words ( such as "angel" or "baptism") are just not going to work for Caelereth, and that will need to be determined on a word by word basis.  But we're all smart, creative people, it shouldn't be a problem to come up with alternative ideas and concepts.  As long as we can stay consistent with our Dreamer's oath and respect each others differing beliefs and ideas, we should be okay.  If a word/concept I use is unintentionally offensive to someone, I hope they will tell me (nicely) and then I will be happy to change it.  I'm sure we can all agree to this.

Alysse



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Nsikigan Ho´Tonanese Yourth
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« Reply #12 on: 12 September 2008, 09:16:47 »

I don't think it was EVER an attempt at political correctness- just an effor to switch out blatenly terran terms for more fantasy-esque ones.
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Nsikigan Yourth, Eyelian extraordinare.

Some men aren't looking for anything logical like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn. - The Dark Knight

Wisdom begins in wonder. ~ Socrates

A government in which the majority rule in all cases cannot be based on justice, even as far as men understand it- HD Thoreau
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« Reply #13 on: 12 September 2008, 12:32:18 »

Hmm, an interesting discussion starts and I've got to go and catch a flight!  Well, seems to me that the word 'church' refers only to the monotheistic Christian religion.  I much prefer the words 'temple' or 'shrine' as they can be applied to polytheistic religions.  A shrine to Baveras or a temple of Nehtor for example.

But I've got to stick up for 'baptism' and 'circumcision'!  Neither of these rites are specific to Christianity or Judaism.  Pre Christian 'mystery' religions and 'pagan' groups used them, too.  (For example, some Australian aboriginees circumcise their young and baptism was used by the cult of Mithras).

So I think it needs to be worked out on a word-by-word basis.  Except for 'church'...which has got to go!  Oh, and obviously any references to the Bible, Ko'ran, Bhagavad Gita, Heart Sutra etc as well!
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« Reply #14 on: 12 September 2008, 21:30:46 »

Ah, you have put your finger on it, Yurie:  the RITES themselves are fine, yes.   Mithras devotees used actual blood, mind you.... but cleansing with water, or salt, or herbs, or burning sage - all obvious physical representations (using the Principle of Similarity/Contagion) of spiritual cleansing., and not specific to Judaism or Christianity.   I keep hoping more rituals and observances will be detailed in new religion/faith entries, rather than merely creating yet another pantheon.... sigh.....

My point is that the words for those rites, no matter their origin, have by this time in history been co-opted rather completely by the Christian church.    Surely we have enough creativity sparking around this site to come up with our own names?

A while back I did a picture of a pregnant woman standing in a morning-lit river, performing a ritual cleansing - don't know where it wound up eventually, but it was intended to represent that age-old association of water with spiritual purification.   Obviously that does not have the same connotations as our 'removing the taint of original sin' or 'giving the child a name' that we associate with the word 'baptism' - so why borrow an incorrect descriptor?
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