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Koloss17

Mistborn and religion

18 posts in this topic

I have been wondering this for a while, but I have now come to seek support from a shard.

survivorism has some heavy  parallels to Christianity, in the loose sense. There is this low class peasant performing miraculous feats within a great empire with the intention to take it down (I know this isn’t really what Jesus was said to be doing, but that’s how it was misunderstood). He has a crew of people that follow his lead and has the same ideals. He is betrayed by a member of his group and is practically dead. He then returns, bearing legendary mythical wounds, and ascends to be part of a powerful god. He also gets killed by a weapon that is then used as the chief symbol of him by his followers. I know that the order is not exactly how Jesus’ presumed timeline goes, but the parallels are heavy. 

Are there other religious parallels within the mistborn novels?

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From the man himself:

 

Brandon Sanderson

This is the most overt and obvious of my savior-imagery scenes for Kelsier. I hope you didn't feel like I was hitting you over the head with it. (I didn't actually realize the similarity between Survivor and Savior until I was part of the way through the book.) Either way, yes, the Christian imagery is intentional. I didn't put it in simply because I'm religious (after all, if you look at it, Kelsier isn't really all that Christian in the way he deals with people.) I put it in because I think that the images and metaphors of Christianity are deeply-seated in our culture, and drawing upon them provides for a more powerful story.

Part of this is to intentionally make people uncomfortable–for discomfort (when used right) leads to tension. The Christians who read this might be made uncomfortable by how strikingly un-divine Kelsier is. He's acting in some of the same roles as Christ did, but he's not the man that Christ was. He's kind of a pale imitation. The non-Christians, in turn, might be made uncomfortable by the fact that Kelsier is manipulating the people in the way that religions often do, giving hope in something that could very well prove to be false.

Either way, he is what he is. The truest Kelsier is the one we see near the end, where he's standing in the kitchen, smoldering in his black clothing. He is a dangerous man with powerful beliefs.

Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations (April 2, 2007)

 

 

Questioner

Did you purposely make the Church of the Survivor sort of like Christianity or not?

Brandon Sanderson

Kelsier intentionally made it like Christianity. In kind of a false way, meaning he read about and had Sazed tell him about religions that were similar and then he built that his own way.

Questioner

Oh so did Sazed tell him about...

Brandon Sanderson

Sazed told him about religions that were similar. I wouldn't say Christianity specifically, but their version and things. So there is a yes and a no.

Firefight Chicago signing (Feb. 20, 2015)

 

 

Questioner

When you pictured Kelsier in the Mistborn Series, did you see him as a Christlike figure?

Brandon Sanderson

He sees himself that way, I do not.

Questioner

And the church that follows up after him, is that more like *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

It is hierarchical like some Christian churches are, but it is not meant to reference any specific church. I'm not *inaudible* to be Kelsier, as he has a more inflated opinion of himself that I think he should have.

Skyward release party (Nov. 6, 2018) Edited by Pathfinder
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I guess ironeyes is the devil, and his worshipers would be Scadrian satanists. 

Is there a religion based around inadvertently worshiping it, like worshiping harmony?

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52 minutes ago, Koloss17 said:

I guess ironeyes is the devil, and his worshipers would be Scadrian satanists. 

Is there a religion based around inadvertently worshiping it, like worshiping harmony?

There is, it's called Sliverism, believing in the Lord Ruler and the Last Inquisitor aka Ironeyes

And while he might be a Satan like figure to some, Grim Reaper would probably be a more accurate description

Edited by Honorless
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Yeah, I just forgot the name of it. Worshippers of harmony worship harmony without directly worshiping harmony. Is there a real world religion like that?

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37 minutes ago, Koloss17 said:

Yeah, I just forgot the name of it. Worshippers of harmony worship harmony without directly worshiping harmony. Is there a real world religion like that?

Confucianism is the closest real world analogue that I can think of

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50 minutes ago, Koloss17 said:

Yeah, I just forgot the name of it. Worshippers of harmony worship harmony without directly worshiping harmony. Is there a real world religion like that?

It borrows from confucianism and taoism but I do not think it has a real world corespondent.

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Oh yeah! Taoism fits even better, Yin and Yang, Preservation and Ruin, forces in harmony

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Just now, Honorless said:

Oh yeah! Taoism fits even better, Yin and Yang, Preservation and Ruin, forces in harmony

Oh dang! You’re a genius!

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Just now, Koloss17 said:

Oh dang! You’re a genius!

Credit goes to @Karger, I forgot about this connection completely

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1 minute ago, Honorless said:

Credit goes to @Karger, I forgot about this connection completely

2 minutes ago, Koloss17 said:

Oh dang! You’re a genius!

Thanks.:D

Edited by Karger
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5 minutes ago, Karger said:

Thanks.:D

No pwab.

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No probs, Karg, credit goes where credit is due. Now come back to Cosmere Discussions forum to a certain topic of mine, chop, chop!

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The way the Terris live in their own enclave, practice their own culture, and discourage (as of recent times) intermarriage, as well as getting too involved in the outside world, is similar to Orthodox Jews (and a few other, less known groups). No clue if that was intentional though.

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5 minutes ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

The way the Terris live in their own enclave, practice their own culture, and discourage (as of recent times) intermarriage, as well as getting too involved in the outside world, is similar to Orthodox Jews (and a few other, less known groups). No clue if that was intentional though.

And the Amish

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2 hours ago, Dreamer said:

And the Amish

The reason I didn’t think they resembled the Amish is two fold: first, they live in an enclave within the city; second, they are not opposed to modern innovations, but they wish to remain separate from modern culture.

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10 minutes ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

The reason I didn’t think they resembled the Amish is two fold: first, they live in an enclave within the city; second, they are not opposed to modern innovations, but they wish to remain separate from modern culture.

fair enough

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Obviously we don't know enough about Trellism yet, but it wouldn't surprise me if it ended up more like Satanism; taking imagery and lore from other religions and appropriating them to whatever the heck Trell is doing. For instance, the "Faceless Eternals" are similar enough to real Kandra that people notice and refer to them as such

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