One World Religion?

I’m reading a book now called Bloodring; it takes place in a Post-Apocalyptic, or should I say, Post-Revelation, society.

See, apparently, in this world, hundreds of winged beings bearing swords and claiming to do the will of the Most High God appeared and slaughtered over 90% of humanity, somehow ushering in a mini-Ice Age as well. They called themselves Seraphim, and they seem to respond to biblical verses  (which empower spellcraft done by “neomages”; this is a supernatural fantasy novel). What gets me, though, is that since the Seraphim refuse to name their Most High or endorse a particular denomination, and since they slaughtered anyone who spilled blood in the name of religion, “all” religions have come to a sort of compromise. People gather in buildings called “kirks”, whenever the local custom dictates (saturdays in mainly Jewish communities, Sundays in mainly Christian ones, five times a day in Muslim areas), and hold highly non-denominational services involving holy water and incense.

Except… what makes authors believe they can file the labels off Christianity and call it “non-denominational” and expect it to appease everyone of all religions? Does a Seraph have a Buddha Nature? Are they a stumbling block on the road to Nirvana? What use has a Taoist for kirk? Do they hold Yoga classes there? Where do Sikh Gurus fit into this new cosmology? Devas? Karma? What about the Loa?

By calling themselves Seraph and quoting the Old Testament, they’ve excluded every non-Abrahamic religion and any Abrahamic religion that does not believe in the literal existence of angels. The only attention I’ve seen to this idea so far are the following sentences:

In the United States, Hindus, Buddhists, and other Eastern religions tend to worship at home due to the dearth of temples.

(leaving out Vodou, Wicca, Rosicrucian, et cetera)

According to rumor, many of the local American Indians have returned to the religious practices of their ancestors, building their own places of worship deep in the hills.

Why? With literal angels staring you in the face, what compels someone to turn away from the religion that spawned them? That would be a fascinating story, but our protagonist, Thorn, is not religious. (Apparently she’s a neomage, and the Seraphim declared that they don’t have souls, so she doesn’t usually bother. Any other situation and I’d be deeply curious about why she’d be nonreligious when, again, literal angels are flying overhead. )

Has anyone ever read a book about a religious event that handled plurality well?

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One Response to One World Religion?

  1. Firedrake says:

    Seems to me that people would rapidly find out whose holy texts worked as implements of magic and whose didn’t, and religions would split into “kewl powerz” (the ones with the mages) and “philosophy/ethical system” (everyone else). People who wanted comfort after all their friends had been slaughtered would presumably tend towards the latter camp. I don’t expect there’d be a whole lot of traditional Christian worship going on any more, since it’s clearly to some extent tied to the seraphim but has got major things wrong about them.

    …but yeah, haven’t seen this done well. The Salvation War pretty much ignored non-Christian religions as far as I remember.

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