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Sunday, January 9, 2005

Lucky Jack Aubrey and an ecumenism aboard ship
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We interrupt this tech-blog for a dose of Patrick O'Brian from The Wine Dark Sea. By way of context, Captain Jack Aubrey must decide who will crew a prize he has taken, and is inclined to appoint one junior officer, Vidal, a Knipperdolling, to command a crew of Sethians:

For although Shelmerston was well known for bold enterprising expert seamen ... it was even better known for its bewildering variety of religious sects, some, like the Sethians, with origins in the hazy remote past, some like the Knipperdollings, quite recent but a little apt to be quarrelsome by land if some point of doctrine were raised; and at the love-feast in Botany Bay a disagreement on the filioque clause had ended in many a black eye, many a bloody nose and broken head.

Now, it is probably just me (and Jim DeLong) who delights that a sea novel takes up the filioque controversy with different sects of seamen on the ship -- great comedy, but perhaps you have to be there, or at least be a devotee of O'Brian's literary skill.

posted by Ray Gifford @ 11:02 PM | General

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