Girl Genius
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Girl Genius
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St. Teodora, pray for us.

Religion in the world of Girl Genius seems to have been left deliberately ambiguous.[1]

Evidence of Judeo-Christian religious belief[]

Whatever form religion is in in Europa, it is closely analogous to Christianity to the point of using the same terminology (at least as translated from lingua europa)[2], albeit with a mad science twist.

  • In TPU there is a machine or tank labeled "Do not open until Xmas"[3], and Dr. Mittelmind let most of his research children out of their containment tanks for Christmas[4]. Even Castle Heterodyne expects presents for Christmas,[5] as does Bangladesh DuPree.[6] Presumably, one must have a Christ in order to celebrate a mass (holy day) for him/her.[7]
  • One of the old Heterodynes was called a blasphemer, implying a belief in someone to blaspheme against.
  • Dame Aedith, vampire hunter, wears a high collar with a Greek Cross, or crux immissa quadrata, inside a circle imprinted on it. This, combined with the notion of vampire hunters bedecking themselves in holy symbols, suggests the existence of Christianity.

Seven Popes[]

At one point in Volume 8, Gil claims that "all seven Popes ordered" his father's manuscript burned[9]. The comic proper has yet to offer any more details on these leaders, but a footnote in one the Girl Genius print-novel adaptations reveals that after the sacking of the Vatican by the Anabaptist Alchemical Army in 1566, seven recognized popes arose:[10]

  • The Pope of Avignon
  • The Ottoman Pope
  • The Pope of the Tsars
  • The Pope of Belfast (the Pope who the Corbettites recognize )
  • The Gypsy Pope (unaffiliated with the Romany.)
  • The Pope of the Mountains
  • The Sicilian Papa de Tutti Papi

There are at least three places called Vaticans.

Churches in Mechanicsburg[]

Mechanicsburg has at least one church building, the Red Cathedral, as well as a chapel inside Castle Heterodyne, the former being built as a result of the Prince of Sturmhalten's Big Bet . If the term "cathedral" is being used properly, it would imply that a Bishop has his seat there.[11] On the other hand, the only ritual known to be performed in the Red Cathedral does not appear (from one frame in flashback where the building is mentioned) closely related to Christian liturgies. The Red Cathedral is probably the same building from which Carson von Mekkhan leads Agatha's party on the way to the Heterodyne family crypt, but this has not been 100% confirmed.

Geisterdamen[]

The Geisters' religious symbol

The Geisterdamen are a cult that worship the Other as their goddess, as well as Agatha Heterodyne as the "Holy Child".

They have an orthodox hierarchy with priestesses of at least two different levels, culminating in their high priestess, Lady Vrin (now apparently deceased).

The religious symbol used by the Geisterdamen depicts a (stylized) Madonna and child.

Religion elsewhere[]

  • Bangladesh DuPree wears a skull on her forehead where a bindi goes, although whether it is religious or merely decorative is not known.
  • In his twitter, Othar describes himself as a Deist.[12]
  • Skifandrians, including Zeetha, worship the goddess Ashtara.

Pagan references[]

Although they have been commonplace in the West at least since the Renaissance, and are therefore invisible to the modern reader, there are a number of references to Pagan mythologies, such as the name of the Knights of JoveJove (also called Jovis pater, or "Jupiter") is the king of the Roman pantheon and the god responsible for thunder and lightning.

A number of characters have first names that would be considered unusual in our world. Thus, we have Gilgamesh Wulfenbach, and Moloch von Zinzer for example, to say nothing of many members of the Heterodyne family. It could even be significant that the first name of Sanaa Wilhelm is the name of the city given by H. P. Lovecraft as the home town of Abdul al-Hazred, the author of the Necronomicon.

See also:

References

  1. It may be more precisely accurate to say that everything has been left deliberately ambiguous and that religion, because it deals with theories of "everything", especially so.
  2. "Christmas"
  3. "Merlot! I don't like your attitude!" . The "dates" for volume 1 on the web site were assigned by back-dating the older pages once Girl Genius 101 caught up with the Advanced Class, but this comic in fact ended up dated Christmas.
  4. "I'm obviously not talking about the control group. "
  5. "Oh. Oh. My. Can… can it be Christmas?"
  6. Is is Christmas? My Birthday?!
  7. However, Puritans opposed the celebration of Christmas; they viewed it as simply an occasion for debauchery and a holdover from Catholicism and banned it when in power in England (1647). And the modern Western celebration of Christmas is often treated as a secular holiday (a shift usually credited to Charles Dickens' 1843 novel A Christmas Carol). So not everyone celebrating Christmas recognizes Christ, nor vice-versa.
  8. The most famous "Temptation of Saint" is that of Anthony the Great (the abbot, not the famous patron of lost things Anthony of Padua); see Temptation of Saint Anthony in visual arts for a possible taste of what things might have been removed.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Agatha H. and the Voice of the Castle, page 162
  11. Cathedra literally means "chair" but in reference to churches is used synecdochically as in English "seat of government" or "county seat" to refer to the church building belonging to the bishop.
  12. The Ultimate Spark
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