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Friday, August 17, 2007

Biblical morals in Elizabeth Moon's The Deed of Paksenarrion

I have previously posted on Elizabeth Moon's work, writing that moral choices are important in her fiction. Here are two passages that illustrate that, in addition to those mentioned in my earlier posts, with relevant scripture:

The Duke nodded, his face grim. "I expect so. I wonder if he was her agent from the beginning." "Surely not. The Marshal wouldn't have missed that." The Duke looked at Paks, a clear question. She answered. "No, my lord, he wouldn't have missed it if Venner had been committed to her then. But Achrya gains adherents in subtle ways. At first he may not have realized what he was doing --" "The Duke flushed. "Arranging a massacre? How could he not? "I didn't mean that, my lord. Earlier. We don't know -- perhaps he had cheated someone, or told a minor lie: I have heard that she makes much of that. Or he may have been told lies, about you, that justified him to himself, in the beginning. By the time he realized whose service he had joined, it would have been too late." "Are you saying it was not his fault?" "No, my lord. Unless he was spelled the entire time, he was responsible for his decisions. I meant that he may not have intended any evil when he joined the Company . . . may in fact have slipped into evil bit by bit. . . ." Elizabeth Moon, The Deed of Paksenarrion (New York: Baen, 1992) p. 782, Chapter Ten. This part of The Deed was originally published as Oath of Gold, by the same publisher, in 1989. Duke Phelan, Paksenarrion, and the Duke's captains are discussing the revelation that the Duke's steward, Venner, has been in service to an evil spider goddess for many years.

James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (ESV)

"She was always ready to take offense at anything, and she'd hold a grudge until it died of old age. She's a skilled fighter, and honest, and works hard -- all good. But I've heard more harsh things about her, from my sergeants, than about the rest of your recruit year put together. She wasn't bad -- not the way i could complain of -- but she'd not a generous bone in her, and she'd a way of talking that kept everyone miserable. . . . And she has the most dangerous of beliefs: that things are unfair for her. The High Lord knows things are unfair. But they're unfair for us all. That's the way the world is." p.814, Chapter Thirteen, of the same book.

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (ESV) Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; (ESV)

I am not saying that Moon and the Bible are equivalent. Indeed not. But biblical principles often come through in Moon's writing.

See here for my most recent post on Moon's writing.

Thanks for reading.

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In a post dated Feb 25, 2009 (Ash Wednesday) Moon indicates that she planned to attend her church's service that evening, and is in the church choir.

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On April 2, 2009, E Stephen Burnett wrote an essay, asking questions about how far a Christian author could go in writing fiction which has a God who is significantly different from the Christian God, and whether a Christian could legitimately create a fictional character who is in defiance of God. I posted tentative answers to these questions, which are related to the subject of the post above, on April 12, 2009.

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