Sep 212012
 

Colored chalk sketch in brilliant reds and greens of a highly stylized figure with wings.Excerpts from “Faith and Philosophy: Directions for Hub Culture” by Wenada Thinmark; Kriviti e Filles, pub., Cirpris Minor

All of the dominant religious traditions currently extant in the Hub trace their origins back to the original colonial axes of Altair and Procyon, and fall into three major groupings, with a few outliers. This is not to say that all of them are direct linear progressions of established pre-Hub faith traditions, but most bear some connection to the faiths practiced on the Mothers of Colonies, and claimed to originate directly from Old Terra.

Pan-Scriptic Faiths

These faiths base their doctrine on scriptures claimed to originate on Terra Prime. Some convergence among the current scriptures of each of the four major panscriptic faith groups might be considered to support the claim, but interpretations and millennia of divergent exegesis have all but eliminated any traceable continuity. The major panscriptic faiths include:

Duo-Latteran Extemporalism

A cluster of Theist faiths based around a non-messianic mythos that places existent creation in time through the agency of human will as a divergence from divine intent. A desirable post-existent state of conscious identity outside of time (extemporal) is the result of Duo-Latteran adherence/practice.

Most of the Duo-Latteran traditions trace back to the Procyon Colonial axes, and the Hamartic sects claim to trace their textual origins clear back to Terra Prime, although no evidence of such a succession has ever been verified.

There are three main Duo-Latteran subsects:

Epistemic Duo-Latteran variants comprise by far the largest population of adherents, having traveled widely in the wake of the Procyonic expansion. Epistemic sects promote the integration of theology and phenomenological observation, freely acknowledging large lacunae in theological consistency and accreting texts based on all kinds of traditions, claims of enlightenment, and evolving hermeneutics. Practice tends to the moderate and individual, although some sects have a strong community practice tradition. Epistemic sects rarely proselytize and are strictly non-poligious.

Soteric Duo-Latteran variants exist in the Procyon axis but are found mostly in the Ras Ophiuchi cluster and the Finahaari cultures along the main upwest nexus in the Hub, although a small cluster of rimworlds seems to have adopted variant subcults based on Soteric/Hamartic syncretism. Soteric sects are among the oldest Duo-Latteran traditions and may represent the original pre-dispersion form of the faith. Most Soteric sects proselytize, embrace nonviolence, but require quite strict observance of both community and individual practice. Some sectarian conflict erupts from time to time, as the Soteric variants tend toward poligious practice.

Hamartic Duo-Latteran sects are widely scattered, although the total number of adherents is comparatively small in Hub terms. They tend to sectarian violence, embrace freebirth and manifest destiny, proselytize vigorously, demand strict observance of practice and rigid poligious integration, and reject other Duo-Latteran variants as heretical. Most variants are strongly libristic, with prophetic traditions and beliefs.

Gayesh Voluti

At one time, the predominant faith of the Galanian and Neo-Prime colonial axes. The rigid ethnocultural strictures of early Gayesh contributed largely to Phase One of the Hub Wars and provoked several waves of genocide. After the Gaya-Mirdan Council, Voluti believership contracted to a small minority as most Gayesh embraced the Reform, but a number of Voluti sects survived in tertiary Galanian client colonies. The early Voluti rigidity has been subject to moderating hermeneutical influences, and current observance is non-poligious, although it maintains a high level of ritual and strict observances. Freebirth practices have contributed to a slow re-expansion of Gayesh Voluti in the upnorth nodes and Vieri Rim cluster.

Reformed Gayesh

The second-largest cluster of Pan-Scriptic faiths, Reformed Gayesh sects propagated freely in the wake of the Council and predominates among U-League nexi. Although Reformed Gayesh traces scriptural origins to the same group of texts the Voluti sects claim, an epistemological hermeneutic tradition and a long accretion of exegetical sub-texts to scriptural status has resulted in semi-theist ethosophical character and liberal practice among the various Reformed Gayesh sects.

Diasporic Yesran

Aspecific theist beliefs based in a highly ethnocultural interpretation of its scripture, combined with strict non-proselytization have kept the population of Diasporic Yesrans both comparatively small and genetically distinct. The three main variants, Yesra Jasit, Yesra Savic, and Yesra Zamari, intermingle to some extent, but most Yesran communities are endogamous. Freebirth practices contribute to population maintenance. Yesrans are scattered throughout the Hub, clustering wherever cultural tolerance and freebirth allowance permit them to maintain their idiosyncratic practices. There are no predominantly Yesran colonies known in the Hub.

Ethosophical Faiths

Most ethosophical faiths are aspecific theist or semi-theist in nature, although several have non-theist variants. Some claim scriptural origins and traditions, but rather than basing practice solely on scriptural or theological underpinnings, they relate practice to cultural, ethological, philosophical and/or ideological considerations.

Calichaeism

A widely practiced aspecific Theist faith with many variants and sub-variants, Calichaeism is underpinned by a long tradition of philosopher-sages and their writings. Although not considered explicitly doctrinal in nature, the oldest grouping of these, the ‘Ahpazhadi’, said to date back to the pre-Hub Altair colonies, is accepted by almost all Calichaen variants as foundational.

Calichaen sects are by and large non-eschatological and most presume individual human consciousness to be a finite manifestation of an infinite divinity, working through time and matter to extend the divine in both immanent and transcendent spheres.

Most of the Calichaen variants fall into one of two major strands, each further divided into hundreds of variant sects:

Coherentist Calichaen sects maintain a loosely theological structure based on the assumption that all deities are subsumed in a processionist revelation based on, and reflective of, evolving human understanding of the divine. The central task of the devout, therefore, is the exploration and exposition of the nature of divinity. Different sects regard this from a transcendent or immanent viewpoint, and there are many schools of practice based on or in metaphysical discipline and ritual, all more or less related to the foundational Ahpazhadi writings.

Doxastic Calichaen sects maintain an eccentric theological structure based on the “reverberant” nature of the divine, eschewing any linear or progressive assumptions in favor of an iterative model. The central task of the devout is to achieve a level of personal understanding and practice that will enable the believer to “express the divine” in the immanent state. Most doxastic sects are mildly and unaggressively proselytic. Almost all revere the teachings of the Nineteen Sages, a group of Aurigan philosophers from the mid-second millennium of Hub dispersion.

Zen Lin’rasf

A non-theist philosophical matrix largely restricted to the Ophiuchi Circuit and the Ras Miraman colonial nexi, although spreading slowly among the Central Nexus worlds. Lin’rasf has always had a strong appeal among the higher levels of University League leadership. Lin’rasf emphasizes the achievement of “perfect balance” (zen) between a set of dicta called the “desiderata extant” (lin’annara nexraf in the older versions of Hub Translingue.) Practices of physical and mental discipline allow the believer to ‘balance’ and ‘rebalance’ based on relative ethical and moral imperatives.

Lin’rasi claim that as the practice of Lin’rasf is non-theist, it may be adopted as a form of personal spiritual discipline and enhancement by believers of any religion or sect, and some Reformed Gayesh sects have adopted many Lin’rasi practices.

Libraic Yesran

Although Libraic Yesran theology is more explicitly theist than most ethosophical faith variants, its doctrine is based not on the theology it shares with the Diasporic Yesran sects but on the “writings” dating to the pre-Hub Leksandri Project and representing a series of debates, exegetics, and ethical dicta developed by Yesran Nahin (clerics) in the Leksandri Habitat.

Libraic Yesrans are non-proselytic and largely endogamous, devolving “membership” by birth, but they accept and educate converts. The status of the “Called” (converts) obtains some special obligations as to practice and education. Education is regarded as a prime spiritual duty. Libraic Yesrans do not condone freebirth, placing a high value on practice that maintains the economic viability and cultural coherence of their communities.

Neoprophetics

“Neoprophetics” is essentially a portmanteau term encompassing dozens of faiths that have emerged in the wake of the Hub colonial expansion, originating in the teachings or revelations of specific leaders claiming divine status or inspiration. While new neoprophetic faiths continue to emerge, occasionally branching from established faiths as well as springing from more esoteric roots, three have become fairly well established, with substantial believer communities and influence.

Ummasa Monotheism

Based on the Revelations (Harantha) of Umadhi-Aksad, which he claimed to receive as the “rekindling” of an ancient text supposed to date from pre-colonial Terra. The “six stars” of Ummasa are the profession of Ummasa as the only valid faith, performance of daily religious observance, study of the Harantha, the obligation of charity, the performance of an elaborate ritual called the “Kandach” at least once during the believer’s adult life, and the “Vow of Purity” to procreate only with others of the Faith.

Ummasa was strongly proselytic during the early Hub Wars and in fact drew many of the upeast and downnorth colonies of the Miranthi Union and the (then) proto-Finhaar worlds into the Second Hub War. At one time it was the dominant faith in most of the upeast node as well as the Alamari Rim cluster, and although colonial infill has diminished its influence somewhat it remains one of the larger faith groups in those areas.

Oves

Oves (“Way,” in Shinanese) is the work of the charismatic “prophet” Nishi Uela. It began as an offshoot of a fairly obscure Duo-Latteran sect on Procyon D in the wake of the Third Conference. It swept quickly through the latter Procyon-axis colonies and the Tirvath cluster. In its first hundred years it was the subject of repeated scandal, with accusations that Nishi Uela was in fact a Tranest Corporation agent, pursuing a religio-political agenda with the aim of discrediting the Kim Sons Combine and bolstering Mesram Xina control of several key economic axes in the Ophiuchi Circuit. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to get the Hub Mercantile Council to raise an Adjudicatory Enquiry on the issue of Oves financial practices.

Since Uela’s death a series of “Prophet Heirs” have kept the sect expanding slowly along the Tirvath/Cirpris trade routes.

Descentant Upani

Originally a Calichaen offshoot sect, the Descentant Upani were the result of a schism fomented by Udu Suari me-Varanath, who claimed that a re-examination of the oldest iterations of the Ahpazhadi revealed gross transcription and translation errors, and that the actual source for the writings were ancient Terran texts available in fragmentary form on Tantriga’s University Station. She announced that a combination of scholarship and revelation had enabled her to “restore” the original version.

In addition to taking strong hold in the colonial arms descended from the Nazred-Dinaj system colonies, several Independent Fleet clans recognized the Descentant Upani texts and it is believed to be the second most widely practiced Faith among the Fleets.

  One Response to “Religion in the Hub”

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