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Division of Church and State


g33k

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I've known all along that this division wasn't much of a thing in Glorantha.

Rulers are often priests -- often High Priests, in fact! -- and so are officers in the military, especially high level commanding officers.  In fact, the civil/military/religious leaderships overlap pretty darned freely (except among the GLish cultures which reject theism & worship in favor of seeing the "divine" beings as just another kind of lever in the universe's control-room, to be operated as you are able and inclined).

But somehow, looking at some other threads just now, this has suddenly opened up a new way of thinking about Gloranthan cultures... and leadership.  (The key thread -- in fact the key post, FWIW -- was Nick Brook's summary of the Cult of Glamour in his RQ-subforum edition of the "Rough Guide to Glamour" thread (as an aside, I am kinda hating how there are many iterations of specific significant topics, distributed ALL the FRACK over teh Interwebz)).

Hmmmm.

Gonna take some pondering, this.

Edited by g33k
matching parens) -- (anal retentive? who, /me/ ?)
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I don’t think separation is possible in a place where magic is real, ignoring magic just leaves you open to someone armed with magic.

States run by aheist sorcerers are probably as close as you come to a separation, but the most powerful sorcerers are pretty godlike.

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17 hours ago, g33k said:

I've known all along that this division wasn't much of a thing in Glorantha.

I find the way you have posed this question is unclear. 

Firstly, there are no churches in Glorantha; not really, and nor do they really have a State, the way we moderns would understand it.  Religious miracles are a reliable daily reality, and cults form an ideological bulwark that shores up societal norms, as well as protecting people.  However there is a separation of sorts.  If you belong to a cult or tradition that doesn't fit within the ruling hegemony, you are indeed an outsider, at a  remove from the levers of power.  Big religions deny power to smaller religions, and war with other big religions for control of regions.  

Within modern democracies the separation of church and state exists due to the Wars of Religion that tore Christendom apart during the 1600s.  While some nations chose to make a single state religion mandatory, the more common attitude is to say that the business of governance is not bound by religion, and nor is religion bound by the state.  People are given freedom of conscience, to believe what their conscience tells them is right.  This substantially disempowers all religions, but also allows a climate of tolerant co-existence between people of all faiths to develop and exist, where nobody worships or tithes by compulsion.

In Glorantha, that isn't really possible.  Either your deity gets along with the local pantheon and its power structure, or it doesn't.  There are occasional avenues of tolerance and accommodation, for example, even Lunars and Orlanthi will likely team up to destroy a Thanatar temple if they find one.  For the most part, religious hostility will play out according to time honored patterns however. 

A notable exception to this rule will be found among the illuminates.  Their illuminated state allows them to stand above the power of the Gods to discipline them or hold them to behavioral norms.  In illumination rest the seeds of tolerance and compassion, but also chaos, ambition and corruption's tempting inroad to destroy the entire world.

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The institutional divide in Glorantha is less between state and cults, and more between cults that serve different social functions, imho. Priesthoods double as their respective roles (rulers, administrators, scribes, warriors, traders, etc.). Additionally, the line between such institutions and family units is also often very difficult to conceptualize, making these entities sometimes like a mix of a clan/dynasty, a religious cult/sect, and some kind of instrument of governance. 

Sounds a bit wishy-washy, I guess, but that's the best I can put it.

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I can't think of anywhere in Glorantha that specifically separates Church and State. Maybe there are some places, but nothing springs to mind.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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I think the closest you'd come to a separation of church and state would be in the west, where the rulers don't necessarily have to be religious figures as well. Of course it's not total separation, but the church and state don't always work completely together.

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On 3/19/2020 at 8:40 PM, g33k said:

(The key thread -- in fact the key post, FWIW -- was Nick Brook's summary of the Cult of Glamour in his RQ-subforum edition of the "Rough Guide to Glamour" thread (as an aside, I am kinda hating how there are many iterations of specific significant topics, distributed ALL the FRACK over teh Interwebz)).

I'm sorry if my advertising strategy has upset you, g33k. As our forthcoming book A Rough Guide to Glamour is likely to be of interest to RuneQuest players as well as Glorantha fans, I advertised it in both those forums. I'm not aware of any way to have exactly the same discussion in both places (and also crossing over to Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and I'm not sure it would be a good idea.

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1 hour ago, Nick Brooke said:

I'm sorry if my advertising strategy has upset you, g33k. As our forthcoming book A Rough Guide to Glamour is likely to be of interest to RuneQuest players as well as Glorantha fans, I advertised it in both those forums. I'm not aware of any way to have exactly the same discussion in both places (and also crossing over to Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and I'm not sure it would be a good idea.

Just go ahead and spam everyone, Nick, everyone else does and nobody seems to mind. We all want this to see the light of day.

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Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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39 minutes ago, Nick Brooke said:

I'm sorry if my advertising strategy has upset you, g33k. As our forthcoming book A Rough Guide to Glamour is likely to be of interest to RuneQuest players as well as Glorantha fans, I advertised it in both those forums. I'm not aware of any way to have exactly the same discussion in both places (and also crossing over to Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and I'm not sure it would be a good idea.

Oh, it's not YOU, Nick; you did nothing wrong.  I apologize if that seemed like it was aimed at you personally!  That was not my intent, and mea culpa if I was so careless as to phrase it so it could seem that way.

I recognize you're just spreading the word in relevant places, responding to the conditions that exist.  There's some overlap between various fannish communities, to be sure; but plenty of BRPC folk aren't on FB, and vice versa; the fans in those places WILL all want to know (and I've NO idea how healthy-or-not e.g. the (undoubted) /r/Runequest and/or /r/Glorantha communities are (or Twitter, or, or, or... any other online spaces)).

Nevertheless, I continue to bemoan the multiplicity of venues that make keeping-track-of-stuff almost impossible for the fans.

I still recall the annoyance of discovering an "official" clarification on an issue repeatedly-flamed&debated here on BRPC... but the clarification was a reply-to-a-reply embedded deep in a FB thread, on a Group that I hadn't previously found.  I think the particular issue had spilled onto FB from here, but am not certain.

I'm not clear HOW Chaosium (and other companies in like situations) could (or would) address this quandary.

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2 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Just go ahead and spam everyone, Nick, everyone else does and nobody seems to mind. We all want this to see the light of day.

+1

Sort of.

Since "... we all want this..." I will argue that (by definition) Nick's posts AREN'T spam (which by definition is UNwanted).

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33 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Just go ahead and spam everyone, Nick, everyone else does and nobody seems to mind. We all want this to see the light of day.

Thank you, Simon. So you know: we are waiting on one last full-page piece of finished art (for which the composition and detail sketches I've seen are utterly beautiful), and then the content is done. I'd like to launch PDF sales as soon as possible after that; it will still take a while for any POD options to become viable (because of the need for negotiations, printing proofs, delivery times, proofing printed proofs, correcting errors, etc.), so we probably won't let that hold us back from releasing the finished book digitally.

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I'm not sure too many RW bronze age cultures had much separation of church and state either to be honest - divine right of kings and all that. (I'm sure there are exceptions - I'm not a historian, anthropologist, archaeologist, or any other professional with actual expertise).

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9 hours ago, Nick Brooke said:

Thank you, Simon. So you know: we are waiting on one last full-page piece of finished art (for which the composition and detail sketches I've seen are utterly beautiful), and then the content is done. I'd like to launch PDF sales as soon as possible after that; it will still take a while for any POD options to become viable (because of the need for negotiations, printing proofs, delivery times, proofing printed proofs, correcting errors, etc.), so we probably won't let that hold us back from releasing the finished book digitally.

... maybe even a mini "tribal edit" pass ...  😁

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12 minutes ago, g33k said:

... maybe even a mini "tribal edit" pass ...  😁

Sure. If you spot a typo after the book is released, let me know (a quick email to nick at etyries dot com is probably best) and we'll do a cleaned-up version. (PDFs are fun! Remember to check your DriveThruRPG library for updated PDFs)

NB: "Sultan" is not a typo.

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4 minutes ago, g33k said:

what about "... of Swing" ?

ERRATA: for “of Swing” read “of Sylila,” throughout. (Bloody autocorrect)

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5 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

One of the weirdest things I find in Glorantha, is that despite so many temporal positions being linked to spiritual ones, you still have specific groups specifically mentioned as theocracies. It's kinda odd since it seems more important to note the few that aren't.

I was about to mention last night how, while connecting spiritual and temporal power has historically been the norm rather than the exception, "true" theocracies have been fairly rare, imho. 

That is to say, it seems like the temporal duties tend to fairly often be significantly more time-consuming than the religious ones. It's really more a history of "priestly kings" rather than "kingly priests", as it were. But I could be wrong.

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