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Subject: Why "Anti-Catholic" and why the x-ed out cross? rss

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Lacombe
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Very odd choices. "Protestant" would have sufficed as a catch-all term to include Eastern Orthodox and other branches.

An x-ed out bishop's or pope's hat, or something else like a Lutheran rose would have been a much better symbol to use.

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Christopher Bartlett
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Not sure the term "Protestant" covers Eastern Orthodox. Would argue it does not.

Plus, are all the religious figures in play Christian?

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Marco Arnaudo
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cc_TheToph wrote:
Not sure the term "Protestant" covers Eastern Orthodox. Would argue it does not.


I also don't think that "Protestant" and "Orthodox" should be used as synonyms. The Merriam-Webster actually describes them as mutually exclusive, since it defines "Protestant" as "a Christian not of a Catholic or Eastern church".
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Lacombe
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Fair enough.

The game clearly tries to shove the trichotomy [Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox] into a binary [Catholic, Anti-Catholic] and it's bound to feel weird any way you slice it. The "continental struggle of religions" described in the game summary implicitly puts Protestants and Orthodox Christians on the same side, despite their obvious geographical and religious differences. I guess it's just personal bias as a Protestant and a citizen of the "Western" world that makes me feel that binary "battle for Christendom" as being between Protestants and Catholics primarily rather than between Protestants + Orthodox [as "anti-Catholics"] and Catholics [or even between Orthodox and Catholics].

Just feels weird.

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Andrew Young
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I feel ok.



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Luke Morris
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Many splits have happened in the church down the years.

The first major split was the Orthodox church splitting from the Catholic church over some wording and rewording of the Nicene Creed (among other stuff of course such as Constantinople/Rome power etc etc)

The Protestant movement was much later and they are not at all Orthodox. The three are recognised as distinctly different with regards to certain key aspects of dogma and teaching.
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HamsterOfFury wrote:
The first major split was the Orthodox church splitting from the Catholic church


Or, indeed, the other way round. . .
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Dirk Knemeyer
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Like many things in Road to Enlightenment, getting to where we are was quite the odyssey. Over the life of the design I did have far more granular religious detail and more individualistic treatment. However, like so many things in games, the more deep and precise the model the less fun and more rules requirements that came with it.

That disclaimer aside, I'm quite happy with where the system settled. Without question the Catholic church was proactively overbearing and controlling across the entire continent. In every nation. Without exception. In some it had near hegemony - think Spain - where in others it was reduced to a relatively minor counter-cultural force - think Russia.

Where the system is least successful is in countries that had very important and culturally significant religious oppression within which the Catholic Church was not either the primary or secondary actor. Here I'm specifically referring to England and Russia. Indeed, the fact that fellows like William Laud (Stigmata Laudis!) and Patriarch Nikon are thus siding with the generally more liberal and proletariat Anti-Catholics presents a bit of a messy quandry.

Nonetheless, at a more macro level, the Catholic church was pressing for hegemony in every corner of Europe, if not the known world, and everyone from the Anglicans to the Calvinists to the Lutherans to the Russian Orthodox and beyond were bracing themselves against it. In that, I think the game is capturing a historically important and meaningful struggle for cultural supremacy, one that is centered in Italy versus one that enjoys more local leadership and control.

As is so often the case in history and grand strategic games pertaining to history it is the Jews whose abstraction (into "Anti-Catholic" in this case) is the biggest gap. I mean, you've got Bohdan Khmelnytsky, absolutely one of the most important people in the entire century thanks to the historical arcs he put into motion for Russia and Poland (not to mention his native Ukraine). He is - correctly - an Anti-Catholic for struggling against Catholic Polish occupation. However the crimes he committed against Jews absolutely belong in the ugly and ignominious history of anti-Jewish prejudice and crime that we now so conveniently try to back in a "Hitler" box and pretend it wasn't an epidemic that stretches back to the earliest recorded history.

As to the x'ed out (Catholic-style) cross, it was just the visual language we chose for saying "Anti-Catholic". Either it is the Catholic cross or it is in opposition to it. We at one point had a cluster of Protestant cross, Orthodox cross and Star of David but it "read" terribly especially at smaller sizes.

Anyway. Along with other perhaps TMI detail, that is why the game is framed as Catholic/Anti-Catholic with Islam a fringe and secondary player which will have more presence in the expansion.
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Michael Tan
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NateStraight wrote:
Fair enough.

The game clearly tries to shove the trichotomy [Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox] into a binary [Catholic, Anti-Catholic] and it's bound to feel weird any way you slice it. The "continental struggle of religions" described in the game summary implicitly puts Protestants and Orthodox Christians on the same side, despite their obvious geographical and religious differences. I guess it's just personal bias as a Protestant and a citizen of the "Western" world that makes me feel that binary "battle for Christendom" as being between Protestants and Catholics primarily rather than between Protestants + Orthodox [as "anti-Catholics"] and Catholics [or even between Orthodox and Catholics].

Just feels weird.



This division makes sense to me because of the classic saying "your enemy's enemy is your friend". Catholicism was the clearly the dominant religion in Western Europe at that time, so from a very high level, the religious struggle could be viewed as dominant versus everybody else. The various factions would then fight for control AFTER they topple Catholicism - but that's beyond the scope of the game.

Because I'm watching Game of Thrones on HBO, it reminds me of all the alliances of convenience to topple the Lanisters. Once they're gone then Stark, Baratheon etc. will turn on each other (if they haven't already...)
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Dirk Knemeyer
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Christopher, there are some Jewish luminaries but they play as Anti-Catholic. Baruch Spinoza is an example, and frankly helps validate the use of "Anti-Catholic" as he explicitly wrote against the Catholic church.
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Kurt R
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dknemeyer wrote:
Nonetheless, at a more macro level, the Catholic church was pressing for hegemony in every corner of Europe, if not the known world, and everyone from the Anglicans to the Calvinists to the Lutherans to the Russian Orthodox and beyond were bracing themselves against it.

For me and my $.02, this makes perfect sense. The sub-divisions of the "anti" group aren't really in play for what you seem to be going for.

dknemeyer wrote:
Christopher, there are some Jewish luminaries but they play as Anti-Catholic. Baruch Spinoza is an example, and frankly helps validate the use of "Anti-Catholic" as he explicitly wrote against the Catholic church.

And if you want to split hairs even further, we could classify him as non-Jewish and in his own category.

BTW, if you've never seen the play, "New Jerusalem", about the excommunication of Spinoza, I can't recommend it enough.
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Dirk Knemeyer
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enzo622 wrote:

And if you want to split hairs even further, we could classify him as non-Jewish and in his own category.

BTW, if you've never seen the play, "New Jerusalem", about the excommunication of Spinoza, I can't recommend it enough.


Good point!

Hadn't even heard of it; will seek it out. Thanks.
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Dan Moore
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dknemeyer wrote:
. . . the ugly and ignominious history of anti-Jewish prejudice and crime that we now so conveniently try to back in a "Hitler" box and pretend it wasn't an epidemic that stretches back to the earliest recorded history.


God help me I'm not trying to start a fight, but my impression was that after the Roman dispersion of the Jews, they found useful and appreciated roles in the Empire? And in Iberia there was a bit of cultural synthesis of Christian, Jew and Islam? Which had long faded, of course, by the time of the Reconquista being finished.

I don't know that the average American, at least, is Pretending so much as living in ignorance.
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Dirk Knemeyer
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catmando wrote:
dknemeyer wrote:
. . . the ugly and ignominious history of anti-Jewish prejudice and crime that we now so conveniently try to back in a "Hitler" box and pretend it wasn't an epidemic that stretches back to the earliest recorded history.


God help me I'm not trying to start a fight, but my impression was that after the Roman dispersion of the Jews, they found useful and appreciated roles in the Empire? And in Iberia there was a bit of cultural synthesis of Christian, Jew and Islam? Which had long faded, of course, by the time of the Reconquista being finished.

I don't know that the average American, at least, is Pretending so much as living in ignorance.


Hi Dan,

Yes, I agree that it is far more nuanced and black/white than my intentionally heavy-handed statement. But I routinely feel frustrated at the ignorance in the United States in particular of anti-Semitism being a centuries-long historical arc that climaxed with - but was not the unique provence of - Nazi Germany. And when researching various cultures and historical periods, and you read about the brutality and terror that someone like Khmylnytsky perpetrated on the Jewish Pole minority, things like this spring up all over the place. When thinking about different people and periods it all becomes so very complicated for it.

Even Moorish Iberia is claimed by some historians not to be the enlightened, accepting place that is romantically believed: that is more than just the Jewish question though. Actually a historical game on Moorish Iberia would be particularly fascinating, if it doesn't already exist.
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Dan Moore
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Thanks!
 
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Andrew Prizzi
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First off, I just came across this game. I typed "enlightenment" into the BGG search engine just to see what turned up and....wow. If this game is good, it has the potential to be an all-time favorite of mine. At first glance it looks almost exactly like the dream game in my head.

The discussion of religion is an interesting one. Personally, I think the Orthodox really fall much more closely aligned with the Catholic Church than with Protestants/Secularists.

After the suppression of the Jesuit Order where did many find refuge and patronage? In Russia.

The Orthodox Church is quite similar to the Catholic Church. Both have valid apostolic succession. The liturgical life of both is centered on the celebration of the Eucharist. Both celebrate all 7 sacraments.

The divisions between the Orthodox and Rome have far more to do with power politics (see the sacking of Constaninople by the Crusaders) then with theological disagreement.

Pax
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Dirk Knemeyer
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Can't argue with any of that Dan. Characteriologically, I would even argue the Anglican church would be more Catholic than Anti-Catholic.

What the game is trying to capture is the "everyone resisting Catholic" dynamic across Europe at the time. Religious differences were essential in the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian-Polish triangle in the 17th century. It certainly accounted for animus between England and Spain and England and France. That's the angle the game is taking on continental religion. Clearly, the mix of Anglicans and Puritans in the Anti-Catholic camp is an odd artifact of the very complicated religious situation of the time.
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Andrew Prizzi
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Thanks for chiming in Dirk. There certainly are a lot of abstractions and assumptions that go into making any flesh and blood historical reality into a board game. I certainly don't hold the fact that you had to make some against you or your game. Discussing those abstractions both from a game perspective and a historical one is one of the great things about historical boardgaming.

Was there an overarching Catholic vs Anti-Catholic religious struggle at the time? Yes there certainly was. I think what some people are confused about is identifiying Protestants as the anti-Catholic faction. In reality, the dominant anti-Catholic movement was Free Masonry which used Protestantism, deism, atheism, and variety of other particular ideologies as allies in it's struggle with Rome. The Church also reached out to Protestants, skeptics, Orthodox, etc, the "men of good will" referred to in so many Papal encyclicals.

Pax
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