Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Religious Landscape in My Traveller Universe

Continuing from my previous post Orthodoxy and Traveller:
In My Traveller Universe (IMTU) there is the Orthodox Catholic Church, as well as:

  • Islam
  • Buddhism
  • Scientific Materialism
  • Nativist/Animist religions
  • Personality cults
  • schismatic/heretical christian churches 
 As this is my universe, and as I am an Orthodox Christian, I am paying the most attention to the place of the Church in the far future. The Church is now governed by the Seven Patriarchates which are (all named for Earth cities):
  • Rome (still holds the historic primacy of honor)
  • Constantinople
  • Moscow
  • Jerusalem
  • Antioch
  • Alexandria
  • Philadelphia
     In Orthodox ecclesiology, there are Patriarchs over the broadest regions, Metropolitans who report to them and administer smaller areas, and Bishops who report to them and preside over local areas. The parish priests report to the local bishop.
     All of the Patriarchs are first, the bishops of their cities. Secondly, they have administrative jurisdictions, with the bishops serving under them acting in their name. But in terms of ecclesiastical authority, all bishops are EQUAL. No bishop has the right in himself to determine doctrine, or to reprove another bishop. If a bishop must be reprimanded or corrected, a group of his brother bishops will be convened, usually by the offending bishop's Metropolitan. If a Patriarch must be corrected (and this has happened, we do not try to deny it) then his brother Patriarchs must come together to correct their fellow, and return him to the Orthodox way.
      The jurisdictions in my Traveller Universe overlap, as they always have. The more religiously neutral or tolerant the planet is, the more likely it is that there will be multiple jurisdictions. When the planet is intolerant or hostile, there will be more unity as the congregations work together for mutual support. Also, intolerant worlds are less open to evangelism from multiple jurisdictions. Persecution continues to happen to the Church in all locations, just as it always has; just on some worlds it is more systematic and severe.

Tolerance
     Someone once described the Church's condition as being one of two things: toleration or persecution. As on Earth the Church has been variously accepted & rejected by the cultures of the nations, so it will likely continue to be in the Far Future. How much that comes into play depends, of course, on the piety of the PCs. So where does the Church find the most and least acceptance?

     The Talaveran Empire officially recognizes the Church. The Patriarch of Moscow has his see on Talavera.
     The United Planets recognizes the Church, but maintains Separation of Church and State. The Patriarch of Philadelphia has his see on New Maryland.
Other tolerant states are:

  • Five Worlds League (See of Jerusalem)
  • Thrainian Confederation (See of Constantinople)
  • Ostrander Federation
  • Solaris Alliance (See of Rome)
  • Stedhard Alliance
  • Alliance of Dormarc
  • Kingdom of Onaji
  • Kingdom of Glauden
  • Helmuth Association
  • Mercador Compact 
      The Union of Socialist Worlds is officially atheistic, and supports Scientific Materialism. The Church is tightly controlled, and faces systematic persecution. 

Less tolerant or intolerant states include:

  • Correllian League
  • Kassiran Defense League
  • Lycosky Trade Protectorate
  • House of Dirata
  • Litton Confederation (See of Alexandria)
  • Kamarov Republic
  • Patrian Concordiat
  • Dothan Alliance (See of Antioch)
  • Republic of Tamarkand
The Independent planets are all over the board. I keep track of this in my Religion Index (explained in the previous post).

Liturgy
Parishes under all seven patriarchates are just as likely to celebrate the Gregorian Rite as the Chrysostom (Byzantine) Rite.

Activities

  • monasteries
  • evangelism
  • disaster relief
  • social services
  • aiding displaced or stateless persons
  • raising money for righteous causes
  • advocating for peace, and for the release of captives
      These are the points at which many PCs will interact with the Church – a local priest or abbot may ask for help in advancing one of these endeavors. The Church will usually not offer cash, and will almost certainly ask that anyone acting on the Church's behalf not employ violence, especially not deadly force.  Monasteries can be encountered anywhere, whether approved by the local government or not. Often times, they will be situated on the less hospitable spots in a star system. As I have mentioned before, many starports will have priests or monks assigned to them, to serve the spiritual needs of Travellers. Parishes may be permitted to grant Sanctuary to persons who seek refuge in the Church.


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