Author Topic: Christianity?  (Read 3233 times)

Offline BiriBiriMegane

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Christianity?
« on: June 06, 2017, 07:08:15 AM »
I've never had any issue with how Christian mythology is used in Blue Exorcist. I grew up Protestant but am pretty agnostic now. In the AoEx world it's established that not only are all religions right, but Christianity is SUPER right because their demons play the biggest role in the balance of the world

And yet the boys were raised in a monastery and they never bring up Big G God. Meanwhile the practices of Buddhism and Shinto are explored pretty well and the Exwires who practice them seem very in tune with their gods. The only use of Christianity is a bit of a shakeup on the demon structure, use of holy water, reciting Bible versus, general imagery and...that's about it? I understand it's a really small religion in Japan and people only get a really surface understanding if they aren't a part of it. I guess I just wish Kato-sensei put a little more thought into the role of God in this world or at least what the boys mindset would be like after being raised in a church.

Questions for discussion
1. Are angels ever going to come up? Besides AAA of course
2. Is God ever going to come up and play a role in the story?
3. Was Fujimoto running a sham church?

Offline Kittykat

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Re: Christianity?
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2017, 01:28:32 PM »
I've never had any issue with how Christian mythology is used in Blue Exorcist. I grew up Protestant but am pretty agnostic now. In the AoEx world it's established that not only are all religions right, but Christianity is SUPER right because their demons play the biggest role in the balance of the world

And yet the boys were raised in a monastery and they never bring up Big G God. Meanwhile the practices of Buddhism and Shinto are explored pretty well and the Exwires who practice them seem very in tune with their gods. The only use of Christianity is a bit of a shakeup on the demon structure, use of holy water, reciting Bible versus, general imagery and...that's about it? I understand it's a really small religion in Japan and people only get a really surface understanding if they aren't a part of it. I guess I just wish Kato-sensei put a little more thought into the role of God in this world or at least what the boys mindset would be like after being raised in a church.

Questions for discussion
1. Are angels ever going to come up? Besides AAA of course
2. Is God ever going to come up and play a role in the story?
3. Was Fujimoto running a sham church?

Angels, demons, gods--they are listed to be the same thing as quoted by Ucchusma. I believe it follows a similar trope of kami. Where everything has a spirit of some sort. Demons are concepts borne of humans, so in essence they are personifications. Samael, time. Lucifer, light. Amaimon, earth/nature. Et cetera.

Aria requires focus, determination, and the will to be successful. I believe those three equal faith. Not that one religion is stronger than the other. To exorcise is to push that demon out of possession and force it back to Gehenna. I think when it was said that humans may see into Gehenna in their dreams is a big clue to their nature.

My Japanese instructor was asked about religion one day in class, and she said, "We are influenced by six main religions. We believe in everything. We aren't just Christian, or Buddhist, or Shinto, or whatever. We are them all." So I take that in account when I read manga.

I believe the whole church thing was a cover. They would do services and charity work, mentioned in the light novels, but it was a place to raise the twins away from the scrutiny of the Order. I do wonder about their means of living though. How low does the Order pay for the priests, especially the paladin, to live in squalor, or is their equipment so expensive that they earn little?

Oh, and it mentioned several times that exorcists are thought of as faith healers. I believe it was also mentioned that they are called in when unexplainables happen, and the government leaves them alone or something like that. I do remember there was a Q/A that questioned how they work around the government. I just don't remember the answer.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 07:07:12 PM by Kittykat »

Offline chinonamida

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Re: Christianity?
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2017, 05:38:59 PM »
Like Kittykat said.

In Japan, the original religion is Shintoism. It's an animistic religion where many gods/spirits called "kami" live among humans, and humans give them offerings in exchange of services. They're seen as equals to humans; or depending on the Kami, they're sometimes seen as superior but therefore uncontrollable so humans would avoid them, and sometimes they were seen as inferior since priests/monks and other people like head of clans were not just asking, but ordering them to do things. Shintoism is completely pragmatic and not really dogmatic at all. People in Japan were and are still seeing Kami simply as some other things on earth they can interact with and they don't have more or less respect for Kami than for the things they represents. And by the way, for example, it's not like there are one Kami for rivers and one Kami for mountains, it's that every rivers and every mountains have it's own Kami. Basically, anything can be a Kami, given it's old enough or descending from another Kami. Even humans, most famously the emperor, could be considered one.

So as Shintoism is completely pragmatic, other religions that came to Japan became the same.

When Buddhism came along from India through China then Korea, Japan adopted it but changed it into something completely different than what is seen elsewhere. First, they used Buddhist gods like they were simply new powerful Kami and used Sutras in ceremonies as chants/incantations devoid of sens; only a few really tried to understand what it all meant. Then they started using Buddhism as a religion of the dead, since Shintoism is completely turned towards life and considers death and all things related to it as impure and, therefore, has always been unfit to deal properly with things like funerals and remembrance of the dead.

Today Shintoism and Buddhism kind of exists in symbiosis. So much so than sometimes you will see Shinto priests/monks praying to Buddhists gods or Buddhists priests/monks doing Shinto rituals (Like Tatsuma leading a Shinto marriage ceremony).

As for the history of Christianity in Japan. It first arrived in Japan during the Sengoku period, where western missionaries started converting people. Then, during the Edo period, Christianity was almost completely repressed. Now, since the end of Edo, it slowly came back, but only a small fraction of people really are Christians. But what's strange is that a lot of Japanese get married in Christian churches because they prefer western wedding gown and suits. And like they use Sutras without caring about what it means, they do the same with the bible. They just love the Hollywood depiction of the Christian priest holding the cross and trowing holy water while chanting random bible verses. Japan is famous for it's ghosts/yurei and evil-spirits/youkai stories, that came along with Buddhism, I almost forgot to mention. And developed even further with western depictions of ghosts and demons. So again, Christianity is not wanted in Japan for it's dogma, which they completely ignore, but for it's pragmatic demon banning rituals.

I'd say in AnE no religion is right. Especially not the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) since they're monotheistic. But if one is right more than others, it would be Shintoism.

1. Are angels ever going to come up? Besides AAA of course
There are a bunch of them under Lucifer as light-kin. Iirc, we've at least seen seraphim and cherubim.

2. Is God ever going to come up and play a role in the story?
For a while since the start I often made the bet Satan was God. But turns out he's only the creator of Gehena, or Gehena itself. So far, the one closest to the Abrahamic definition of god would be Shemihaza since he seems to be the one with the power of creation in Assiah.

3. Was Fujimoto running a sham church?
Are there other types of church? *cough* *cough* *cough* I mean, I think it was a legit Japanese church. But like I said, most people in Japan see Christianity in a really non-dogmatic way; they'll go to the church if they want to get married or if they think they're possessed or hunted by a ghost or demon. I'm not joking.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 05:47:23 PM by chinonamida »

Offline Madow

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Re: Christianity?
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2017, 07:15:13 PM »

2. Is God ever going to come up and play a role in the story?
For a while since the start I often made the bet Satan was God. But turns out he's only the creator of Gehena, or Gehena itself. So far, the one closest to the Abrahamic definition of god would be Shemihaza since he seems to be the one with the power of creation in Assiah.

Well should that not still count as a God? He is the creator of an entire species and the most powerful known being in existence so by extension, if Shemihaza is a God, Satan shouldn't he be one as well since he's superior in power, rank and the one who technically created Shemihaza?

Offline chinonamida

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Re: Christianity?
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2017, 07:30:28 PM »

2. Is God ever going to come up and play a role in the story?
For a while since the start I often made the bet Satan was God. But turns out he's only the creator of Gehena, or Gehena itself. So far, the one closest to the Abrahamic definition of god would be Shemihaza since he seems to be the one with the power of creation in Assiah.

Well should that not still count as a God? He is the creator of an entire species and the most powerful known being in existence so by extension, if Shemihaza is a God, Satan shouldn't he be one as well since he's superior in power, rank and the one who technically created Shemihaza?
I meant "God" with a capital "G" as in the one and only god of the Abrahamic religion, the one who's omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.

All demons in AnE could be considered kami or gods, especially those of high rank. But none fits the definition of the Abrahamic god, with the closest to the definition being Shemihaza, but he's still far from it I guess.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 07:32:33 PM by chinonamida »

Offline Gem-Bug

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Re: Christianity?
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2017, 11:46:57 PM »
Yeah, in Vol 16's extras, Lightning mentions that the order uses the term Demon, but others call them Gods or Buddhas. So spiritual/supernatural beings are all lumped into the same thing. Lucifer's Seraphim would likely count as Angels in this universe, or at least the closest comparable thing. :)

Offline SimpleBliss

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Re: Christianity?
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2017, 03:59:39 AM »
I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned before...but what if the Garden of Amahara is supposed to represent the Garden of Eden?

After all, anyone familiar with the story (and all the versions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, though most notably I think the Christianity version would have been considered) knows how related it is to Satan. This could explain a possible connection between Sheimi and the twins.

Taking a passage from Genesis:
(click to show/hide)

Notice that there's a big theme of good and evil here. This theme is very prominent in the manga. After all, we have characters -- notably, Yukio -- who speculate all the time about what is good and what is evil. Supposedly, the fruit of the trees in the Garden of Eden hold this knowledge. Therefore, the Garden of Amahara -- while "legend" to Sheimi -- might actually hold answers to what good and evil are, and what the solutions might be. It might have connections to the Blue Knight, and to the truth everyone seeks. Even if the garden itself isn't real, it might be symbolic of other connections to Shemihaza...like Sheimi.
 
We know that Shemihaza has pretty obvious connections to Sheimi. After all, Sheimi's name is similar to "Shemihaza," and they both have the motif of gardens, etc. etc.

From the Emperors thread:
Quote from: Taytronics7
Shemihaza is the leader of the Grigori, which makes sense since Shemihaza was also the name of the leader of a band of fallen angels in the Book of Enoch from which it was inspired. His title is the Emperor of Creation, which implies that he had some sort of part in the making of the world. His motif is plants, which goes well with his title.

So..."Shemihaza" is the name of a leader of a band of fallen angels. And the Garden of Eden is a garden, which is connected to creation, which is connected to Shemihaza. And Satan was a fallen angel, who tempted Eve (Adam in Islam's version) and got them kicked out of the Garden. There's a lot of intertwining with the story here, between fallen angels, Satan, gardens and creation. And all this has got to be tied to Sheimi, somehow. More particularly, to Sheimi and Satan. Her family clearly has some sort of history with Shemihaza, one that Sheimi doesn't know about...she doesn't need to know about it, necessarily, because it's so far back, I'm guessing, but it must connect with this entire thing about demons, thus influencing her decision to become an Exorcist.

Shemihaza is on the side of humans. This makes sense if she/he/it has connections to the Garden of Amahara (Eden). If Satan is anti-human and caused Adam and Eve, or "humans," to be kicked out of the Garden, Shemihaza might be against that having happened, and is thus there to protect humans, or bring them back onto better terms with "God," or just bring them back into the garden, or "peace."

Either this, or the Garden of Amahara can simply represent the Gardens in heaven, which I think has been mentioned before. But that doesn't leave much room for speculation, does it?

Offline Yaharezen

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Re: Christianity?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2017, 09:11:13 AM »
Being the creator doesn't necessarily mean he's God? I thought Satan would be God as well. As far as angels and Christianity go, you'd think an anime with Exorcist in it would have dominant religious references.

Offline Cherub

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Re: Christianity?
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2017, 10:29:10 AM »
On a different note, I love how Satan and Lucifer are two different people in the manga. Because originally Satan was lucifer before he got kicked out and his name means "morning star" does this remind anyone of the illuminati symbol?

Offline Kittykat

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Re: Christianity?
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2017, 03:26:13 PM »
On a different note, I love how Satan and Lucifer are two different people in the manga. Because originally Satan was lucifer before he got kicked out and his name means "morning star" does this remind anyone of the illuminati symbol?

All of the ba'al, with the exception of Amaimon/Amaymon (maybe him too, he's labeled as a prince of hell and a cardinal demon along with Egyn who is associated with Azazel), have been referred to as Satan.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 04:07:26 PM by Kittykat »

Offline Cherub

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Re: Christianity?
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2017, 11:47:47 PM »
On a different note, I love how Satan and Lucifer are two different people in the manga. Because originally Satan was lucifer before he got kicked out and his name means "morning star" does this remind anyone of the illuminati symbol?

All of the ba'al, with the exception of Amaimon/Amaymon (maybe him too, he's labeled as a prince of hell and a cardinal demon along with Egyn who is associated with Azazel), have been referred to as Satan.

Well of course, for the Baa'l that would be true. But I was kinda looking from an orthodox Christian view - Katou had gone and thrown in multiple religions and made it interesting, point is I'm just glad that she made Satan AND Lucifer from an orthodox perspective.

Offline Kittykat

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Re: Christianity?
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2017, 11:51:25 PM »
On a different note, I love how Satan and Lucifer are two different people in the manga. Because originally Satan was lucifer before he got kicked out and his name means "morning star" does this remind anyone of the illuminati symbol?

All of the ba'al, with the exception of Amaimon/Amaymon (maybe him too, he's labeled as a prince of hell and a cardinal demon along with Egyn who is associated with Azazel), have been referred to as Satan.

Well of course, for the Baa'l that would be true. But I was kinda looking from an orthodox Christian view - Katou had gone and thrown in multiple religions and made it interesting, point is I'm just glad that she made Satan AND Lucifer from an orthodox perspective.

I don't know if she's actually using Christianity as a base. Most of it is Judaic lore which Christianity is based off of. From what I understand, Christianity recognizes the Old Testament but follows the New Testament.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 12:14:07 AM by Kittykat »

Offline Cherub

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Re: Christianity?
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2017, 11:57:41 PM »
On a different note, I love how Satan and Lucifer are two different people in the manga. Because originally Satan was lucifer before he got kicked out and his name means "morning star" does this remind anyone of the illuminati symbol?

All of the ba'al, with the exception of Amaimon/Amaymon (maybe him too, he's labeled as a prince of hell and a cardinal demon along with Egyn who is associated with Azazel), have been referred to as Satan.

Well of course, for the Baa'l that would be true. But I was kinda looking from an orthodox Christian view - Katou had gone and thrown in multiple religions and made it interesting, point is I'm just glad that she made Satan AND Lucifer from an orthodox perspective.

I don't know if she's actually using Christianity as a base. Most of it is Judaic lore which Christianity is based off of. I'll use chinonamida's term, Abrahamic.

I didn't think she was using Christianity as a base at all. It's only being used for the demon structure including the baa'l, then you have your classic holy water and cross necklaces, etc.

Okay, sorry maybe I should have said this in a better way: As someone who has been raised from western Christianity and has experienced several different religions including Judaism, I find it refreshing that Satan and Lucifer are two different characters.

Better?  :)
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 12:06:13 AM by Cherub »

Offline Kittykat

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Re: Christianity?
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2017, 01:19:11 AM »
On a different note, I love how Satan and Lucifer are two different people in the manga. Because originally Satan was lucifer before he got kicked out and his name means "morning star" does this remind anyone of the illuminati symbol?

All of the ba'al, with the exception of Amaimon/Amaymon (maybe him too, he's labeled as a prince of hell and a cardinal demon along with Egyn who is associated with Azazel), have been referred to as Satan.

Well of course, for the Baa'l that would be true. But I was kinda looking from an orthodox Christian view - Katou had gone and thrown in multiple religions and made it interesting, point is I'm just glad that she made Satan AND Lucifer from an orthodox perspective.

I don't know if she's actually using Christianity as a base. Most of it is Judaic lore which Christianity is based off of. I'll use chinonamida's term, Abrahamic.

I didn't think she was using Christianity as a base at all. It's only being used for the demon structure including the baa'l, then you have your classic holy water and cross necklaces, etc.

Okay, sorry maybe I should have said this in a better way: As someone who has been raised from western Christianity and has experienced several different religions including Judaism, I find it refreshing that Satan and Lucifer are two different characters.

Better?  :)

Lol. Quite. I find it actually normal to see it. Especially in video games. Lucifer is just another boss until Satan. XD or like in Persona where they're two different entities you can collect or create.

Offline BiriBiriMegane

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Re: Christianity?
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2017, 04:18:17 PM »
On a different note, I love how Satan and Lucifer are two different people in the manga. Because originally Satan was lucifer before he got kicked out and his name means "morning star" does this remind anyone of the illuminati symbol?

All of the ba'al, with the exception of Amaimon/Amaymon (maybe him too, he's labeled as a prince of hell and a cardinal demon along with Egyn who is associated with Azazel), have been referred to as Satan.

Well of course, for the Baa'l that would be true. But I was kinda looking from an orthodox Christian view - Katou had gone and thrown in multiple religions and made it interesting, point is I'm just glad that she made Satan AND Lucifer from an orthodox perspective.

I don't know if she's actually using Christianity as a base. Most of it is Judaic lore which Christianity is based off of. From what I understand, Christianity recognizes the Old Testament but follows the New Testament.

They still grew up in a monastery even though it's becoming clear that all the monks and Fujimoto were there more as some kind of witness protection program and probably didn't have real divinity school training.