Gasper

Radiant Oaths and Christianity

28 posts in this topic

So I have been thinking about this for a while and I want to know what people think. Warning, I will be diving in to the Christian Faith a bit and I do not mean to cause any hard feelings. I also want to know what other people have to say because I think that Sanderson does a really good job on his religions and I want to see the parallels to Earth religions. I have been comparing some of the stuff the New Testament says and the Oaths of the Knights Radiant. They do seem to have some correlation, specifically the Bondsmiths. Here we go:

First Ideal: Life before Death, Strength before Weakness, Journey before Destination. 

Correlation: see the Immortal Words page on the Coppermind Wiki but I will break it down.

Life before Death: in my family, we are taught that dying for Christ is easy, but living for Christ is hard, I think that this is reflected in the explanation of this part of the Oath. Dying/killing should never be the first option.

Strength before Weakness: Servant Leadership, we see this in Kaladin in the first book and is a theme through out the NT.

Journey before Destination: Your faith should effect how you live your life, the walk is just as important as the end goal.

 

Bondsmiths:

I will take responsibility for what I have done. If I must fall, I will rise each time a better man: That really resonates with the idea in the Christian faith that we should keep growing and expanding our faith and that there will be set backs. If we ignore our set backs and sin, they will keep us from The LORD and growth in our faith. Only by acknowledging what we have done can we really change for the better. 

 

Now I know this will be controversial, but I do not mean it to be so. I want to know if other people have seen similar correlations between their faiths and philosophies when reading Sanderson's works. Thanks. 

Edited by Gasper
forgot to add something.
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As an atheist, I don't have a faith to compare it too... But I don't think it needs one. 

The first oath is so variable to interpretation that I'm not touching that one. It's going to speak differently to different people, and we definitely see that in the books. 

The Oaths we know though. 

"I will protect those who cannot protect themselves." 

Sitting back and watching injustice occur leaves you culpable. If you have the power to stop something and fail to act, you share in the guilt. 

"I will protect even those I hate so long as it is right" 

Letting your personal feelings get in the way of what you know to be right is wrong in and of itself. Relates back to the 2nd Windrunner ideal. 

"I will unite instead of divide" 

Pretty straightforward to me. Don't cause problems. Be a mediator, not an instigator. 

"I  will take responsibility for what I have done. If I must fall, I will rise each time a better man." 

Something every person should aspire to. Never stop learning, never stop growing. 

These are things that, interpreted correctly, are just good values. You can carry it over to the other orders as well. Even the Lightweavers are about self awareness and accepting your own flaws and limitations. 

They can all be twisted into something darker, but taken for what they are, I think the Oaths are based around common decency and growth as an individual. That's something that should transcend any specific faith. 

Edited by Calderis
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I agree, especially with

2 minutes ago, Calderis said:

"I will protect even those I hate so long as it is right" 

Letting your personal feelings get in the way of what you know to be right is wrong in and of itself. Relates back to the 2nd Windrunner ideal. 

Thank you for your great input, this is the sort of comments that I wanted to show up.

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I agree with @Calderis, I do not see anything inherently religious in the Radiants' oaths. They are just a a set of philosophies for how to live, except for the Lightweavers, which are about self-awareness. They can exist independently of religion.

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All I am saying is that they have some similar points, the Oaths have nothing to do with Christianity or any other religion. They seem, at least to me, to share some similar points of view on a few things. 

 

Edited by Gasper
forgot to add something.
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One of the things I love about literature is that one can interpret things things in a variety of ways and find uplifting passages in surprising places. If you want to interpret things in that manner then that is your truth; that seems as good as a interpretation as any. Thanks for sharing :)

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To be clear. I had no intention of refuting @Gasper's statement. My point was that the things in the Oaths should transcend any particular faith.

There are good things in all faiths and bad things as well. That's part of being human. 

I'm not okay with anyone using my post as a springboard to disparage religion. 

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I agree with @CrazyRioter the oaths are philosophies intended to make the Radiants into better people. I don't think they correspond to any one religion.

But I think it is no coincidence that you see similarities @Gasper. Most religions are based on a moral compass that is intended to make life as a community possible. Like the oaths the principles of most religions therefore are guidelines on how to be better people. Since the question on what makes one a good person is not very different across different religions you can often find similar rules. For example most religions agree that someone who murders and steals is a bad person and a good person protects and goes out of his way to help others... these are moral principles that are independent from the believe in any one specific god and in my opinion it is those principles that the oaths are also based on.

 

Though since Brandon is a Mormon by believe they are most certainly influenced by the christian believe system.

But as said above I think they go beyond that.

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As @Rhapsody points out, Brandon will always be effected by his Mormon, Christian faith. Mormonism is a kind of Christianity. There has always been subtext in his books, though to his credit Brandon has tried to make them stand out and away from real life religions, but the scene in Oathbringer where

Spoiler

Dalinar confronts Odium, clinging to his book the Way of Kings

has been the most overt comparison. The same scene has been repeated throughout the history Christian-influenced fiction – a Priest standing up to an evil entity with nothing but their faith, and the book that codifies it. 

There are inarguable influences. However, yes, I still think that they can stand apart from the rest religions, and be read in isolation, because they are influences not necessarily references

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@MistLord, there were several references to the book in flashbacks and rereads that showed what the words of the book represented to Dalinar. He was not using the book as a weapon (as evidenced by the quick destruction of it by Odium), but because of the meaning, value and inspiration it was to him. The books physical presence was there to enhance his resolve, and Odium understood that. It represented what he learned about getting up and taking the next step, the most important words a man can say, (as his brother told him to find), and his feelings of connection to Gavilar and the Stormfather and Honor were symbolized by the presence of the book. I am strongly religious, but oddly, the symbol I would take into the crisis is a blade. It took me decades to make and represents many things to me now. If I saw someone else bring one, I would judge them as a foolish showman. This one blade is different and does not represent the ability to destroy to me. So I think it is with Dalinar and his book.

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Topic locked pending review.

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About that freedom of speech, relevant xkcd that may be of use in the future for people in cases like this:

free_speech.png

Title text: I can't remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you're saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it's not literally illegal to express.

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Oh gross. Someone crying "1st Amendment" when they shouldn't is not an excuse for that XKCD, which is completely wrong from the first panel. Freedom of speech is a moral and social principle, not just a legal right. It's fine to say there are limits to speech in private communities, but not that the 1st Amendment = Free Speech, nor that we should never fear the social consequences of limiting speech. As well say religious tolerance, or racial and gender equality, are only laws and not moral principles. It's sad the amount of traffic that XKCD gets, simply because it's convenient.

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@Morsk that comic is saying the opposite. It's saying that just because it's not illegal for you to say it doesn't mean you're free of consequences. That if you say something, people are going to respond and it's not impinging on your rights.

Using freedom of speech as a defense doesn't free you of the consequences of that speech. There's no moral imperative to defend people from those consequences. 

Regardless, we're off topic. 

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On 6.8.2018 at 11:01 PM, 1stBondsmith said:

@MistLord, there were several references to the book in flashbacks and rereads that showed what the words of the book represented to Dalinar. He was not using the book as a weapon (as evidenced by the quick destruction of it by Odium), but because of the meaning, value and inspiration it was to him. The books physical presence was there to enhance his resolve, and Odium understood that. It represented what he learned about getting up and taking the next step, the most important words a man can say, (as his brother told him to find), and his feelings of connection to Gavilar and the Stormfather and Honor were symbolized by the presence of the book. I am strongly religious, but oddly, the symbol I would take into the crisis is a blade. It took me decades to make and represents many things to me now. If I saw someone else bring one, I would judge them as a foolish showman. This one blade is different and does not represent the ability to destroy to me. So I think it is with Dalinar and his book.

yay back to topic: @1stBondsmith I agree with you. Dalinar used the book as a symbol for his beliefs. But I don't think @MistLordever said he used it as a weapon and I also don't think he implied that in any way. Just saying.

On 11.7.2018 at 0:45 AM, MistLord said:

The same scene has been repeated throughout the history Christian-influenced fiction – a Priest standing up to an evil entity with nothing but their faith, and the book that codifies it. 

Nice catch! And it is not only in christian faith. That tale can in one way or another be found in many religions. Which is actually something I like about this. It is something almost everyone (regardless of religion) can associate with.

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As a member of the same faith as Brandon, I see influences of our religion everywhere in his writing about the Knights Radiant Orders. It almost seems deliberate. 

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15 hours ago, Watchcry said:

As a member of the same faith as Brandon, I see influences of our religion everywhere in his writing about the Knights Radiant Orders. It almost seems deliberate. 

Really? Can you tell me which scenes you mean? I'm not a mormon, but I find it really fascinating were people find references to their beliefs.

I don't think it's actually deliberate. But I don't think you can really erase all references to the things you believe in from your work.

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On 8/27/2018 at 8:23 PM, Chaos said:

I could, for example, ban everyone on the site who voices liking bananas.

Damnation! If it weren't for these meddling Admins, I could have married my bananaspren in forumspace :(

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1 hour ago, Rhapsody said:

Really? Can you tell me which scenes you mean? I'm not a mormon, but I find it really fascinating were people find references to their beliefs.

I don't think it's actually deliberate. But I don't think you can really erase all references to the things you believe in from your work.

Basically all the oaths of each order stem from the covenants that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints make, whether in baptism or in our temple covenants. I'd say every orders' oaths syncs with the covenants we make except for the Lightweavers.

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WOW! I would have to say that to make the statement above, you would have to stretch credulity beyond it's former breaking point. I see no parallels at all, except that they are oaths and breaking them have natural consequences. The details of those covenants do not align with Radiant orders. They are sacred to us and therefore we do not discuss them publicly, but they do not follow the Radiant oaths at all. 

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15 hours ago, Watchcry said:

Basically all the oaths of each order stem from the covenants that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints make, whether in baptism or in our temple covenants. I'd say every orders' oaths syncs with the covenants we make except for the Lightweavers.

Well, the orders we're familiar with, right? I think at this point, there are more oaths that we don't know than ones that we do.

@1stBondsmithWould you please clarify what you mean, for someone whose deepest involvement in the mormon church was a friend that was kind of mormon in high school?

Edited by tmnsquirtle
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1 hour ago, tmnsquirtle said:

@1stBondsmithWould you please clarify what you mean, for someone whose deepest involvement in the mormon church was a friend that was kind of mormon in high school?

I think this line that he said... 

2 hours ago, 1stBondsmith said:

They are sacred to us and therefore we do not discuss them publicly,

Means that it's a line of conversation that may need to die... 

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7 hours ago, 1stBondsmith said:

WOW! I would have to say that to make the statement above, you would have to stretch credulity beyond it's former breaking point. I see no parallels at all, except that they are oaths and breaking them have natural consequences. The details of those covenants do not align with Radiant orders. They are sacred to us and therefore we do not discuss them publicly, but they do not follow the Radiant oaths at all. 

Oh. I didn't know that the details were sacred. Sorry for asking.

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