Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Catholicism in novels

I was recently asked to write about Catholicism in my novels. Going through Honor at Stake, one might pick up on the fact that I'm Catholic. It's only in about a quarter of the novel, after all. I built my vampires around Catholic metaphysics. Whether or not they're adversely effected by religious icons or not revolved around free will.  Vampires are possibly connected to the nephilim ... okay, that part isn't so original.

Even my romance segments are Catholic -- because unlike most romance novels, my characters don't jump into bed with each other during an adventure that lasts a week, or a month at the outside.

Why so Catholic?

Um ... because I'm Catholic?

Though I must admit, even the reviews I've gotten from atheists liked the way religion was handled.  It's strange.

But the answer still stands, and it's simple: Catholicism informs my view of reality, mostly through Thomas Aquinas.  Why? Because I have degrees in history and philosophy.  Yes, I'm a nerd of many colors.  But still, it really does inform me on reality.

Now, obviously, I'm not using Thomas Aquinas to explain science to me. But Aquinas does come in handy to go the next few steps beyond what science tells us. And, for the most part, Aquinas still works (I say "For the most part" to cover my backside on this, I haven't read every last word Aquinas has ever written).

But then again, I'm strange.  I don't really have faith that God is real. I Know He's there. Don't ask for the details, but let's just say that I view it as common sense. (Am I dissing atheists? No, just the ones who throw insults at me -- I'm looking at you, Dawkins.)  There's no other way for the world to work, really.  Though my brain's kinda funny.  Does this make me super-Catholic? No. Because I'm still human. And my preferred deadly sin is wrath -- so much so I'm relatively certain that I might be a spree killer if I wasn't religious.

Being Catholic really does just inform my worldview.  This goes from how the world works to Vatican Ninjas.  Yes, Honor at Stake has Vatican Ninjas.

So yeah, my head works funny.


  1. Very well put, and explains my writing worldview perfectly!

  2. I always hesitate to write about Faith in public. I think we've swapped a couple of mails regarding that.

    Dawkins' an ass. I have no patience with the kind of atheism that thinks it's oh so superior to everyone else (by the same token, I have no patience with certain kinds of beliefs-turned-proved-science [*]). I find that astoundingly self-serving.

    "Though I must admit, even the reviews I've gotten from atheists liked the way religion was handled. It's strange."

    Why? I mean, you live in NY, you should be way used to "strange"... No, seriously. What's weird with people liking how you handle religion? As far as I've seen, most people's bones with religion is more with inconsistencies than religion itself. They make the jump from "this or that bishop is a cretin in purple" (which tends to be true, at least with the info they have) to "all Faith is wrong" (and then, more often than not, switch to some kind of uncritical new ageism or cut-down Buddhism). But give them consistent believers, decent people, and they'll respect those.

    I can never remember the Letter, but there's one where the Apostle is chiding some community over their misgivings regarding another, neighboring one, to some tune of "be good followers of the Christ yourselves and let others deal with their beliefs as they see fit" that makes much more sense from a Jewish POV than a Catholic one, I think, but that even in a low dose would have prevented a LOT of misunderstandings to the Catholic church (can't answer about the rest). Specially, these days, when local bishops/priests/laypeople decide to corset people using some sentence from the Vatican taken out of context. [+]

    Take care.

    [*] we'd call that "demostrationism", in Spanish, but I can't seem to find an equivalent in English

    [+] I'll remind you I'm a Spaniard. From Catalonia. Which sort of falls into the Spanish episcopal conference, sort of not. This has all sort of implications in last 3 generations' Catholic mindsets.

    1. To me, It's strange that everyone likes it.... Then again, it's strange to me that anyone likes the book. There's a reason I created that "I'm surprised I have fans" meme. Heh.

      Be well.

  3. My Hammer Commission novel was based around Catholicism and the Catholic church, but I did what I could to tone down the 'Catholic' parts of it, because I figured some folks might think I was preaching.

    I still got one hate review against it, because I portray Catholics (and the church) as good guys, but overall people were okay with it.


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