Storyline: The curmudgeonly chronicler looks to the past for his imaginative sustenance, while very slowly opening his cramped heart to the personal, having long ago given it to the impersonal of God.

C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) - Anglo/Irish academic and writer. Outer: Father was a court solicitor, mother was the daughter of a Protestant minister. 2nd son, very close to his older brother, Warnie, all his life. His mother died early from cancer, and he was educated privately. After a year in college, he served in the infantry in France during WW I, where he was wounded at Arras, and came down with trench fever. Completed his education on a scholarship to University College, Oxford, where he became noted as a classical scholar. Taught at Magdalen College, Oxford for over 25 years, and finished his academic career at Cambridge, teaching medieval and Renaissance literature, while commuting from Oxford, where he shared a home with his alcoholic brother, who had been a career army officer. The ultimate trinity of the house was made complete by the mother of a friend who had died in WW I. The latter was a quarter century his senior, who he called, “my mother.” Probably had a sexual relationship with her, although she was largely despised by his whole circle. Nevertheless, he eventually became her and his brother’s fulltime caretaker until her death in 1951. An atheist until his early 30s, he embraced the Christian God passionately ever afterwards, after being brought to religion by his close friend, J. R. R. Tolkien. Wrote science fiction, Christian apologies, literary criticism and children’s books, most notably the Narnia series, while holding to the dictum that a children’s book that only children enjoyed is a bad book. The series would ultimately sell over 95 million copies, and find its way to film. Also gave a series of BBC lectures, which ultimately found their way into book-form as “Mere Christianity,” and became a bestseller as well. Never read newspapers, and lived the cloistered life of an Oxford don, dreaming of medievalia, while hosting drunken evenings of bawdy talk with his compeers. In his late 50s, he married Joy Davidman Gresham, an American Jewish convert to Christianity who was estranged from her husband and with whom he had corresponded. Their story and her subsequent death from cancer 3 years later, was subject of the story Shadowlands. Partially raised her 2 sons and paid for the Jewish schooling of one of them. Died of cancer, the same day as fellow writer Aldous Huxley, and the assassinated President John F. Kennedy. Inner: Shy, witty, reclusive, a thinker rather than doer, with a photographic memory. Enjoyed the monotonies of life, never kept up with the news, and preferred when nothing happened. Held an aversion to music, and the 20th century, and also harbored a pathological fear of love, despite a long love affair with God and Oxford, as well as fairy tales. Hated dogma and denominational restrictions, saw himself as an ecumenical Christian. Unloosening lifetime of stretching his imagination through academic discipline and allowing his heart to open a bit, while creatively building on his longtime foundation of Christian chronicling. Jacob Grimm (1785-1863) - German writer and folklorist. Outer: Father was a prosperous lawyer, and town-clerk of Hanau. Mother, who was dutiful with a tendency towards melancholy, was the daughter of a city councilman of Kassel. Older brother of Wilhelm Grimm (J.R.R. Tolkien). Both siblings were deeply attached to one another throughout their lives. Eldest of 6 out of 9 who survived. Their younger brother Ludwig became an accomplished painter, and also wound up illustrating his siblings’ collected fairy tales, while the other trio, two brothers and a sister, struggled with their lives. His father became a district judge, and the family lived in comfortable circumstances replete with servants, although the former suddenly died when his son was 11, leaving the family in precarious financial straits. An aunt helped both him and his brother to study at a prestigious high school, where they were slighted for their lower social standing, causing both to compensate by over-studying. Graduated first in his class, as his sibling would do, then studied law at the Univ. of Marburg, although he had to pay for his own education, unlike the wealthier students, who received stipends, which once again forced him to outstudy everyone else. It was there that he began a lifelong interest in the cultural life of the past, under the guidance of a well-known jurist. Accepted his mentor’s offer to go to Paris in 1805 to assist him on his/story of Roman law. The separation of the brothers made both of them acutely aware of their mutual need for one another and both vowed never to part afterwards. In Paris, he became interested in medieval poetry, which would be his life’s work. As support of the family, he took a position with the Kassel War Commission, while continuing his studies on the side. Acted as stern father to the youngest 4, particularly after their mother died in 1808. When Kassel was invaded by the French, he became librarian to Jerome Bonaparte (Baldur von Schirach), who was king of Westphalia, which gave him ample time for the pursuits of his studies with his brother. After the fall of the Bonapartes, he did diplomatic work in Paris and Vienna, then was forced to accept a poorly paid position as 2nd librarian of the public library in Kassel. Worked in tandem with his brother, doing the scholarly work, while Wilhelm complemented him with the literary side of philology. Together they resurrected the poetry of the German past, with a particularly urgent need to preserve the folk-tales. Invited taletellers to their home as a means of collecting stories. Most were educated young women, with one ultimately marrying his sibling. The first volume of their Germanic fairy tales, published in 1812, was a huge success, and the 2nd volume followed 3 years later. Afterwards, Wilhelm labored exclusively on the fairy tales, which became the most widely read books in the world next to the Bible. From 1819 onward, his primary source for them was literary, rather than oral. Began working on the origins of German grammar, to equally successful effect, coming up with Grimm’s law, based on the law of sound shift which became the foundation of scientific etymology, or word study. Became a part of his brother’s family when the latter married in 1825, although never married himself. After being passed over for a position to which he was entitled, he and his brother both resigned their posts, and moved to Gottingen, where he became a professor of Old German literature as well as a librarian. Protested in public in 1837 when the new king of Hanover, Ernst Augustus (Ernst Roehm) abolished the constitution, and was dismissed and had to leave the country within 3 days. A lengthy period of unemployment ensued, but both brothers were aided by the public, until they were called to Berlin by members of the Royal Academy of Sciences to continue their work under ideal conditions. Their most ambitious project followed, which occupied the rest of their lives, in which they made available the last 3 centuries of the Germanic literary language, giving further foundation to the philology of Old German. As Germany became more entrenched against democratic trends, he became more vocal against reactionary currents. Outlived his brother by almost 4 years, becoming even more solitary following his death, although continued on with their lifework, finishing the fourth volume of his book German Precedents, before he died. Inner: Scholarly romantic with a deep love for language. Introverted and serious, as well as robust, with an indefatigable sense of scholarship. Academic lifetime of getting both cerebral and emotional stimulus from his sibling, while pursuing the intellectual detective work of a pure scholar, and letting it serve his spiritual and social needs as well. Nahum Tate (Nahum Teate) (1652-1715) - Irish/English poet translator and critic. Outer: Both his grandfathers and father were of the cloth. 2nd son of a clergyman named Faithful Teate, who was forced to flee a Catholic rebellion in 1641, and go to England, where he held several livings. His childhood remains somewhat obscured, and was probably spent in both England and Ireland. Educated at Trinity College in Dublin, where he was introduced to the theater, then moved to London to seek his fortune as a playwright. Worked mostly as an editor and adapter, revising Elizabethan dramatists, and had his debut production in 1678, with Brutus of Alba, following the proscribed pattern of reworking the art of his predecessors. The year before, he had his first volume of poetry published. Wrote 9 plays, and is credited as one of the primary early exponents of English farce, although after the failure of his second original, he largely stuck to reworking past dramas, particularly Shakespeare, for the Restoration stage to mixed results. Close friend of Nicholas Brady (J.R.R. Tolkien), with whom he collaborated on the Psalms of David. Hymn writer as well as a translator of ancient Roman texts. Showed himself to be an all-around man of letters, with his satirical poetry his strongest suit. Made poet laureate of England in 1692, and held the position for over two decades, although he was generally considered the least accomplished of all the laureates. Served as a Royal Historiographer for 15 years. Fell into debt and was hiding from his creditors when he died. Inner: Honest, tart, taciturn, grumpy, given to heavy drinking. Poetaster rather than poet. Curmudgeonly lifetime of combining the secular and the spiritual in his dual need for expression, while giving into his worst traits in the process, perhaps as some sort of experiential purge. Giles Fletcher (c1588-c1623) - English poet. Outer: Younger son of a diplomat and writer of the same name, and brother of Phineas Fletcher (J.R.R. Tolkien), as well as cousin of playwright John Fletcher (Jeff Buckley). Joined his sibling at Trinity College, Cambridge. Won a fellowship and became part of the nucleus of a literary coterie there with his brother. Ordained, and held a college position, while becoming a classical scholar, known for his sermons. Eventually left teaching when his patron died, married and took a position as a country vicar. His masterwork was Christ’s Victorie and Triumph in Heaven and Earth, a lyrical, passionate view of paradise. Generally considered the superior poet to his sibling, and like him, was a disciple of poet Edmund Spenser (William Butler Yeats). Suffered ill health and hardship at the end of his life. Inner: Cerebral and highly spiritual. Serious, dedicated, introverted and humorless. Far side of paradise lifetime of continuing his long association with his brother/friend while pursuing his deep sense of spirituality through the written word, and suffering for his ongoing personal failings at life’s end. Geoffrey of Monmouth (c1100-1154) - English chronicler and bishop. Outer: Probably of Breton descent, but may also have been Welsh, or a combination of the two. His father was named Arthur, and probably told his son tales of his famous namesake, which deeply impressed him. Became a Benedictine monk at Monmouth Priory, where he probably got his education, then, beginning in the late 1120s, served as a secular Austin canon at the secular college of St. George at the castle in Oxford, where he spent his working life as a member of the college community there. Began writing not longer after his arrival, and brought the figure of King Arthur into European literature in his Historia regum Britanniae, which was far more of a fantasy than belabored with fact, beginning as it does with legend, and then intermixing known events with their mythic offshoots. Wrote in Latin, which was the lingua universal of the time. The book proved immensely popular with medieval scholars and readers, and was based on an ancient tome that he claimed was given him by the archdeacon of Oxford, although he probably utilized both written and oral sources for its foundation. Also wrote a life of Merlin in Latin verse, and translated his prophecies from an ancient Celtic source, at the behest of the Bishop of Lincoln. Made an archdeacon around 1140, then in 1151, he was appointed Bishop Elect of St. Asaph in Flintshire, and was ordained a priest, so that he could be consecrated. Never visited his bishopric, since an open rebellion was in full swing there at the time. Died a few years later in London. Inner: Harbored a love of letters and a fantastical sense of his/story. Interwoven lifetime of romantic chronicling within the bosom of the Church, as a means of continuing to open up his powers of expression. St. Cyril (Constantine the Philosopher) (c827-869) - Byzantine missionary, alphabetizer and bible translator. Outer: From a senatorial family, where his father was a Byzantine commander. Mother may have been of Slavic origin. Seventh son, and younger sibling of Methodius (J.R.R. Tolkien). Lost his father when he was 14. Along with his brother, he was sent to Constantinople for his education, immersing himself in a rich and vigorous intellectual atmosphere among the iconoclasts, before holding a number of official and diplomatic posts. Loved languages, and studied a host of them, including Hebrew and Arabic, while constantly infused with a wanderlust. Always carried a rug with him, and used to say, “My home is where my rug is.” Penned anti-Jewish diatribes, while engaging in dialogues with the proponents of the other two major monotheistic religions. When the iconoclasts lost power in 843, he was forced to take shelter in a monastery on the coast of Asia Minor, before being made to return to the capital, and speak out against his former teachers. Appointed archon of a Slavic province, he then studied at the imperial school, before becoming a priest and a librarian at the Church of St. Sofia, as well as a professor of philosophy at the Univ. of Constantinople, where he earned the title, “Philosopher,” which he held until his death. In 863, he and Methodius were sent to Moravia by the Byzantine emperor per the request of Rostislav, a local prince, who was worried about the influence of Frankish priests on his subjects, and wanted Christian teachers, who would bring the gospel to his people in their own language. Over the next four and half years, he and his brother translated some of the Bible and Liturgy from Greek into Slavonic while he invented the Glagolithic alphabet in order to do so, from which Cyrillic lettering came. Because of their labors, the two siblings would be considered the founders of Slavonic literature, as well as “Apostles to the Slavs.” While there, they encountered German missionaries, who resisted the alternatives they pr”esented to the Slavs, since Rostislav wished to align with Byzantium rather than the German states. The German bishops refused to ordain them or their followers, causing them to hie back towards Constantinople. The pope sent for them when they reached Venice, and they were received with great honor, while being ordained bishops. Entered one of the Greek monasteries in Rome, and changed his name to Cyril, before dying shortly afterwards. Inner: Erudite, deeply spiritual and driven to bring the Word to as many people as possible through penned representational glyphs. Language-master lifetime of renouncing his materially advantaged early life to serve his sense of the divine, through proselytizing, activism and a genuine love of the written word as a direct reflection of the higher spheres. mSt. Jerome (Sophronius Eusebius Hieronymus) (c347-c420) - Roman scholar and theologian. Outer: Son of well-to-do Christian parents. Educated at home and then completed his studies in Rome, where he showed himself to be a serious scholar, with a great interest in Latin literature. Baptized by the pope, and spent his next 2 decades traveling, while developing an attraction to monasticism. In Italy, he attached himself to an ascetic group of scholars and intellectuals, which disbanded, and he continued his journeys to the Middle East, during which time he experienced much inner conflict. In Antioch, he wrote his first work, and also had a celebrated dream during a near fatal bout with illness in 375. Saw himself dragged before Christ and accused of being a delighter in the pagan thought of Cicero (Abraham Lincoln), rather than a true Christian and was severely lashed for it by an angelic host. Vowed afterwards never again to read or possess nonChristian literature, thereby repudiating his ongoing thirst for knowledge, which he would now categorize as sinful temptation. Became a desert hermit for 2 years, again going against his gourmet instinct and hunger for intellectual stimulus and emotional passion. Studied Latin, Hebrew and Greek and scripture during that time and indulged in continual prayer and fasting whenever temptation rose, since his great love of literature sometimes ran counter to his equal need to reflect proper traditional piety. Left his hermitude and went to Antioch and was ordained there, then continued on to Constantinople for further study. Returned to Rome in 382, and remained as a papal secretary to Pope Damasus I (J.R.R. Tolkien), as well as one of his closest counsels, while translating scriptures from the Greek, Hebrew and Old Latin to the New Latin, in what would become known as the Vulgate Bible. Served as a spiritual adviser to a number of noblewomen, engaging them in pietistic dialogues around their eternal souls, but his criticism of the secular clergy caused antagonisms, and on the death of Damasus, he returned East in 385. From that time until his death, he worked at a monastery established for him by one of his female followers in Bethlehem, revising his Vulgate Bible, and writing commentaries and biographies, as well as doing more translations and a host of other works. Involved in most of the theological controversies of his day, to the point where an armed mob attacked his monastery and he was forced to flee for two years. Returned there in 418, and after suffering a lingering illness, passed on two years later. One of the few canonized for his scholarship rather than his sanctity, with his feast day the date of his death, September 30th, and his patronage embracing librarians, scholars, students and abandoned children. Best remembered for his erudition, showing himself to be learned rather than brilliant, while operating from tradition rather than revolutionary new ideas, although his collected works had a long/lasting influence, particularly in bringing Greek thought to the west. Inner: Supreme rationalist and rationalizer, with a great love for both the Church and the power of language. Outspoken, zealous and quarrelsome, with a passionate nature. Forbidden fruit lifetime of continual denial of his love of the soaring power of pure language, in order to harness it to translating the already written words and ideas of others in service to his projected sense of spiritual verities.St. Matthew (fl. 1st cent. AZ) - Judaean apostle and chronicler. Outer: Originally named Levi, although little trace of his life is documented. May have been a Galilean or a Syrian. May also have been the brother of one of the apostles, James the Lesser (John Coltrane), since they are both given the same father, Alphaeus. Worked as a tax collector, which was a hated profession, for the tetrach of Galilee, before becoming a disciple of the prophet Jesus, when the latter beckoned him to follow. He is traditionally regarded as the chronicler of the first of the four gospels, which he modeled after St. Mark’s (Yann Martell). They may also have been written a generation later by someone taking his persona. His writing was concise and made suitable for public reading, and he is generally regarded as an apostle to the Hebrews, before wandering in Asia Minor. His emblem as an evangelist is that of a man, allowing him to symbolize the family ties of the Christ, while his symbol is an angel. There are numerous conflicting stories how and where he met his martyred ending, ranging from being beheaded to being burned to death. Some place his final days in Ethopia, where his relics were supposedly found, others put him in Tarrium in Persia, or east of the Persian Gulf. The emblem of his martyrdom is a spear, lance or a sword. In the Latin Church, his feast day is September 21st, making him a figure of the autumn solstice. Considered the patron saint of bankers. Inner: There at the creation lifetime of his ongoing desire from direct experience to be a Christian apologist supreme, with his gifted pen as his primary gospel sword, whether he was the original Matthew, or the ersatz Matthew who had the advantage of the perspective of time to write a four-told tale that would majestically stand through the centuries.


Storyline: The idealistic socialist employs a profound sense of alienation and a deep knowledge of the human condition in his ongoing quest for truth and justice in a highly imperfect world, while focusing more on the psychological and less on the political, in his latest attempt at explaining it all to a world still far too dense for his tastes.

Yann Martel (1963) - Canadian writer. Outer: Parents were doing graduate studies in Spain at the time of his birth. Father was also a poet. After becoming teachers, they would ultimately join the Canadian foreign service, giving him a peripatetic childhood, and a first-hand view of the world. Through them, he grew up in Costa Rica, France, Spain and Mexico, in addition to Canada, and has continued to be a wide-ranging traveler, with Iran, Turkey and India some of his added provinces of experience. Spent six months in the latter, then took a year to read religious texts and tales of castaways, in preparation for his first real magnum opus. Received his degree in philosophy from Trent Univ. in Ontario, then deliberately took working-class jobs as a tree planter, dishwasher and security guard, among other occupations, in order to further augment his view of society, all the while exploring exotic ports of call, before becoming a fulltime writer in his late 20s. Began his published career with a collection of short stories, in 1993, entitled “The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios,” showing a wide-range in his thematics, as well as an extremely broad strorage of image and idea, from which to draw on. Published his first novel, “Self” in 1996, a fictional autobiography of a man turning into a woman and back to a man again, which won critical plaudits for his acute psychological insights into identity, and then came to world literary attention after the turn of the century with “Life of Pi,” the tale of a shipwrecked oceanic journey, with its two main protagonists, an Indian boy and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, in the same lifeboat, as a metaphorical means of dissecting belief systems. The book won the presitgious English Man Booker Prize in 2002, and has been translated into over thirty languages, while a film version is also bobbing on the horizon. Following the success of the latter, he took a teaching position at the Free Univ. of Berlin in comparative literature for a year, then returned to Canada, where he spent another annum as writer-in-residence at Saskatoon’s public library. Continues as both a teacher and writer, with Canada as his base. Inner: Shares birthdays with his previous go-round, as well as a fondness for talking animals, as a means of probing deeper themes. Plainspoken stylist, with a healthy mix of fact to go with his fancies. Writing and creativity are absolutely essential to his existence. Leftwing politically, and forever grateful he is not an American. Next chapter lifetime of recommencing his explorations into the ideas and ideals of western civilization in his endless pursuit of reason in a world which delights in deliberately avoiding it. George Orwell (Eric Blair) (1903-1950) - English writer and critic. Outer: His paternal ancestors were wealthy Jamaican planters and slave owners, who lost both their money and status. Father was a minor official in the Bengal civil service, mother was the daughter of an unsuccessful French teak merchant in Burma. The duo had social pretentious without the finances or position to back them up. One older and one younger sister. Settled in England with his mother when he was one, and went on to attend St. Cyprian and then Eton on scholarship, showing a lifelong brilliance, eccentricity and profound sense of alienation, as a poor boy among the elite. Later bitterly limned his early schooldays in Such, Such Were the Joys, a posthumously published essay that excoriated the class imbalance of St. Cyprian’s. Rarely saw his sire until his retirement in 1912. Began writing at school, then served with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma for 5 years, rather than going on to university. Tall, gaunt and largely solitary. Returned to Europe and quit his job on leave in 1927, determined to be a writer. Expiated his sense of privilege as a civil servant in a colonized country by tramping and slumming and living on the cheap in Paris and London, a down and out experience he later wrote about, although he used his subsequent pseudonym in order not to mortify his family. Renamed himself after the Orwell River, and began thinking of himself as a socialist, which would be his lifelong political self-definition. Returned home in 1929 after a bout with pneumonia when his money ran out, and worked as a schoolmaster and bookseller’s assistant, producing a series of realistic novels. Married Eileen O’Shaughnessy in 1936, one adopted son from union. Joined by his wife, he fought for the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War, and was seriously wounded, when he was shot through the throat by a sniper while standing up in the trenches to light a cigarette. His experience, which produced Homage to Catalonia, also left him with a strong distrust of the far left and he became a vehement anti-Communist. Rejected for military service in WW II, he worked for the BBC, then became the literary editor of a left-wing newspaper, while producing a prolific stream of journalism. Also active as an essayist, where his real genius lay, while his popular reputation rests with the anti-utopian novel 1984 and the political satire Animal Farm. An anti-Marxist socialist, he hated all the “smelly little orthodoxies” of the 20th century, and had a particular venom for the mindless support of Soviet orthodoxy by his fellow left-wing writers. Lost his wife in 1945, and spent much of the last part of his life on a remote Hebrides island. In 1949, he married Sonia Brownell, a beautiful young editor, some 15 years his junior, when he was bedridden from TB. Never left his bed, while his spouse, who had wished to marry a great man, became the controversial custodian of his legacy. Died of tuberculosis in a London hospital three months later. Despite his uncompromising public stances, he was suspected of supplying a shadowy and secret arm of the foreign office with a list of 130 names of Communist fellow travelers, although he was motivated by pro-British sentiments, and felt they shouldn’t be asked to write for a noncommunist cause. Inner: Quiet, observant, deeply political, totally uncompromising and intensely secretive. Gentle, but sometimes cruel, with a conspiratorial overview of the world. Aloof, dogmatic, puritanical and self-pitying. Felt the crushing English class system deeply, and scorned capitalism, although was deeply nationalistic. Educated egalitarian, and tobacco addict. Saw ‘decency’ as an ideal posture. Ideological lifetime of reinventing himself as a moral observer of the excesses of his time, with a tremendous respect for the written word and its power to limn the truth. Samuel Butler (1835-1902) - British writer. Outer: Son of an Anglican clergyman, who was incapable of affection towards him, grandson of a bishop and headmaster. His mother was the highly sanctimonious daughter of a sugar refiner, and he grew up in a suffocating household. Eldest of 4, with a younger brother and two sisters. Went to family schools, first Shrewsbury, then St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he did well academically. Small and bookish. His father wanted him to be a clergyman, so he went slumming in a London parish to get a feel for the role. Returned to Cambridge, but his eccentric, questioning nature precluded his sire’s ambitions, and ultimately he had a falling out with his family over his choice of becoming an artist rather than entering the Church. Went to New Zealand in 1859 and raised sheep for 5 years on Canterbury island, proving successful at the endeavor, while publishing articles and essays in local newspapers. Explored the area thoroughly, earning a reputation in that discipline as well. Enthralled with Charles Darwin’s (Jared Diamond) theories of evolution, he renounced Christianity, then spent the next 25 years trying to reconcile religion and evolution. Finally rejected Darwin and re-embraced his own sense of God, which he found lacking in science. A homophile, he had few female acquaintances, much preferring his own gender for intellectual and emotional companionship. Returned to London in 1864, and continued painting, composing and writing, while enrolling in art school and exhibiting at the Royal Academy School, as both a portraitist and landscapist. Became famous for Erewhon, an anti-utopian satire on Victorian industrialism, which he initially published anonymously in 1872, and was his only book which enjoyed success during his lifetime. Fell into financial disarray, which was finally relieved by his father’s death in 1886. However, he invested unwisely in Canadian stocks, visiting that country several times to recoup his losses. Continued writing about evolution, ultimately finding that the life force of all creatures were key to their development, rather than the Darwinian model of chance. In the process, he managed to alienate both Christians and Darwinians with his satiric and rational thrusts. Turned to classicism, and wrote an anti-family semi-autobiography, The Way of All Flesh, on which he worked for over 3 decades, before it was finally published posthumously. Died of consumption, was cremated and buried in an unmarked grave. Inner: Cranky, intense, honest, eccentric and embittered. Extremely strained relations with his father, who refused to read his works. Don Quixote lifetime of tilting with authority and orthodox sensibilities, and deriving little pleasure from both, while pursuing his ongoing obsession with utopias and dystopias. Tommaso Campanella (Giovan Domenico Campanella) (1568-1639) - Italian philosopher and poet. Outer: From a poor family, father was illiterate. Put into a monastery at an early age, and later entered the Dominican order at age 14, more for a thorough education than religious sentiments. Read widely, and was particularly impressed with scientist/philosopher Bernardino Telesino (R. Buckminster Fuller), whom he reflected in his early works. Deeply interested in the occult, astrology and prophecy, which brought him his first prison term under the Roman Inquisition in 1591. A year later he was again arrested, tortured and imprisoned, but he used his incarceration to write copiously, even though he was robbed of his manuscripts. Abjured his heresy in 1595 and was released but became involved in a conspiracy to establish a universal religious republic. Once more arrested and tortured, but was spared death through feigning madness. Instead, he received a life sentence. Spent the next 27 years in prison, including several years in chains in a dungeon. After his release in 1626, he was rearrested a month later and spent 2 more fettered years, until finally being freed through papal intervention and given a small pension. Despite his heresies and iconoclasm, he never opposed the papacy, although he completely rejected the Protestant Reformation, remaining a staunch Catholic throughout his life. Fled to France 6 years later, facing a new trial, and died in a Dominican convent in Paris. Best known work was La Citta del Sol, a utopian theocracy very much like his earlier existence, Thomas More’s Utopia. Inner: Theocratic communist, with an extraordinary capacity to remain fertile and creative under the most life-denying conditions. Lofty-minded, naive and both forward and backward-looking. Chained to the wall lifetime of martyrdom to his unassailable vision. Sir Thomas More (1477-1535) - English statesman, writer and martyr. Outer: Son of a lawyer who was later knighted and made a judge. Mother was the daughter of a chandler who became a sheriff. Eldest of three sons and second of seven children. Educated, in part, in the household of the archbishop of Canterbury, who saw in him greatness. Always an avid reader, with a great interest in the classics. Studied at Canterbury Hall, Oxford, and became a lawyer, but felt the higher calling of the priesthood, and he eventually decided, after living in monastery, to be a lay Christian. In his mid-20s, he married Joan Colt, the daughter of a gentleman farmer. Rose early, wore a hair shirt, and made his vision of God central to his life. Housed humanist Erasmus (Edward Abbey) there, who would have a strong effect on his subsequent thinking. His wife died in 1511, probably in childbirth, three daughters and a son from the union. Married Alice Middleton, the widow of a wealthy merchant, within several weeks in order to have mother for his children. She was somewhat older than he, and brought another daughter to the household, while proving to be a very supportive, albeit somewhat stubborn mate. Wrote his/stories and Utopia, a name he coined from the Greek to limn a perfect society. The book detailed a communist city-state ruled by reason. As a Christian humanist, he served in several negotiating capacities, helping to quell a riot and was made under-treasurer and knighted in 1521. Elected speaker of the House of Commons, while being given the position of high steward at both Oxford and Cambridge. Continuing with his writings, he was made Chancellor of England in 1529, but refused to endorse the first divorce of Henry VIII (James Packer), and tried to resign in 1532, while championing the old faith of England against the coming Reformation. Despite his high position, he was usually in poverty, because of his lack of concern for money. Imprisoned for a year for not supporting the 2nd marriage of the king, and used the time for writing, while his sense of martyrdom made the experience a welcome one to him. Sentenced to be beheaded, which he was, and his death shocked all of Europe. His head was entrusted to his eldest and favorite daughter, Margaret and was buried with her, while his body was interred separately. Much later canonized in 1935. Inner: Extremely spiritual, warm, social, excited by ideas. Most highly respected humanist of his day. Great defender of the Church against heresies. Strong family man, who took the education of his children seriously. Put his sense of the divine at the very center of his existence. Highly principled lifetime of martyrdom to his impeccable sense of honesty. Pelagius (360-420) - British monk, heretic, and controversialist. Outer: Probably born in Britain since his cognomen was Brito or Britannicus, although some sources have him as Irish. Became a monk, although was never a cleric. Tall and portly, with broad shoulders and a strong neck, as well as well-educated, speaking and writing in Latin and Greek, showing great fluency in both languages. Traveled to Rome, where he was known as an ascetic, while maintaining lively correspondence with some of the leading bishops of the Eternal City. During his stay there, he composed several works, including, “Commentarii in epistles S. Pauli,” in which he denied the primitive state and paradise and original sin, insisting on the naturalness of intercourse and the death of the body. All his ideas were chiefly rooted in paganism, and the Stoic philosophers, rather than Christianity. Felt the moral strength of human will was sufficient enough to attain a state of virtue. After the sack of Rome in 410, he became friendly with Caelestius (Martin McDonagh), a lawyer and eunuch who tried to convert his maxims into theoretical principles. Left Rome with him and sailed for Hippo in North Africa, where St. Augustine (Thomas Merton) was bishop of that city. Moved on to Palestine afterwards, while Caelestius was condemned as a heretic for promoting six of his maxims. By this time, the Pelagian heresy had taken root in North Africa, and the bishops there were forced to condemn them. St. Augustine, in his counter writing, established the idea of original sin, while never mentioning the two Pelagian authors by name. A diocesan council investigated his heresy charges, although he acquitted himself quite articulately. A further synod in Carthage in 416 appealed directly to the Pope, Innocent I (Michael Milken) for a ruling, and the following annum he announced the two Pelagians could no longer take communion with the Church until they came to their senses. After more back and forths and a new pope, the Council of Carthage in 418 branded Pelagianism a heresy once more, although it would continue after his death two years later to plague the upholders of orthodox Christianity until the middle of the century. Inner: Basically felt nature retained the ability to conquer sin and eternal life could be gained without grace. In essence, he took away the whole sense of judgment behind the belief in Judgment Day, and its central position in the eternality of all Earthly dwellers. Rebellious lifetime of synthesizing pagan and Christian belief, with a totally original view of original sin. St. Mark (?-74AZ?) - Judaean evangelist and chronicler. Outer: Probably from Jerusalem, and a Levite. Tradition holds his mother’s house as a meeting-place for the apostolic followers of the prophet Jesus in the infant Church at Jerusalem. On his release from prison, the apostle Peter supposedly returned there. As a young man, her son became a follower as well, and escaped after the martyred death of his master. Legend also has it, he was Jewish priest who cut off his thumb to disengage himself from the priesthood and commit himself to the new faith. Became a companion of both Paul and Peter, accompanying the former, as well as his cousin Barnabas, on his first missionary journey. Then preached with the latter in Cyprus, before joining Paul again during his capture in Rome, where he is presumed to have written his Gospel, which was addressed to the Roman world. Affectionately called his ‘son,’ by Peter, and is viewed as his interpreter, having written down his teachings. May have also preached in Alexandria, where later tradition has him founding the Church there, before being martyred and dragged through the streets, only to have his body saved by a storm. Other traditions say it was burned, but would not be consumed by flames, and had a subsequent sacred life of its own as an unconsumed set of relics. Those relics were brought to Venice in the 9th century, after he had earlier been told by an angel that a great city would rise there, and he became patron saint of that city, and was permanently memorialized by the Church of St. Mark’s. His symbol is the lion, a pathway he would continue to pursue when his roaring concerns turned from the spiritual to the political. His feast day in both the Latin and Greek Churches is the 25th of April, making him an evangelical of the spring. Inner: Spiritual voice for the Roman world. Well-marked lifetime of putting his utopian consciousness and coin into the projected savior of all humankind. Zechariah (fl. 6th cent BZ) - Jewish prophet. Outer: From a multi-generational family of spiritual leaders. Name meant “God has remembered,’ and is a fairly common Biblical name, with numerous other people bearing it. A priest either at the juncture of his return to Jerusalem or just beforehand, and most certainly relatively young at the time. Began prophesying in late 520 B.Z. Some controversy remains about precisely which of the prophesies attributed to him were clearly authored by him. While his contemporary prophet Haggai (Reinhold Niebuhr) was the original exhorter about rebuilding the Temple of Solomon after it had been destroyed by the Babylonians, he gave greater spiritual dimension to the task, trying to restore a theocratic sense in Israel, after it had reached an almost nonexistent level by many. Understood that the submission to the divine, along with penitence and cleansing were absolutely essential in a return to the standards and demands of Mosaic Law. Very attuned also to the advent of a savior and Messiah, more than any other prophet, save Isaiah, so as to be looked on later by Christians as a very clear foreteller of the coming of Jesus. Closely allied with Haggai, as one of a trio, including Malachi (Robert Heinlein) who represented the last of the tradition of prophets, and to some, the end of Israel’s sense of being imbued with a Holy Spirit. Inner: Labeled as having the soul of an artist and the eye of a seer. Apocalyptic, eschatological and very much a bridge figure between the Old and New Testaments. Saw visions as part of divine communication, while giving credence to the existence of Angels and otherworld figures. Presaging lifetime of his imaginative run through the literary annals of western civilization as a metaphorical utopian continually chronicling the dystopia of his times.


Storyline: The analytic explorer continually delves into forbidden waters in his ongoing mapmaking of the human condition, and leaves a controversial legacy wherever he touches down, in his bold desire to find the truth, even at the cost of his own false premises.

Sigmund Freud (1856- 1939) Austrian psychiatrist and writer. Outer: Father was a Jewish wool merchant, mother was his 2nd wife. 2 older half-brothers. The former was remote and authoritarian, while the latter was far more nurturing. His family moved to Leipzig for economic reasons when he was 3, and then Vienna a year later, which would be his home base for most of the remainder of his life. Decided on medicine as a career and attended the Univ. of Vienna, where he studied under an eminent physiologist, then interned at General Hospital under a psychiatrist. Made a lecturer in neuropathology, and began experimenting with cocaine, which he used for several years, at the detriment of his early reputation. Went to Paris in 1885, where he studied under a neuro-pathologist who dealt with hysterics, which led him to see that psychological states, rather than physiological ones, could be at the root of mental pathology. In 1886, he married Martha Bernays, the daughter of a prominent Jewish family, 6 children including Anna Freud, who would become a well-known psychoanalyst and close associate of his. His wife also proved to be extremely supportive during his controversial career, so that he had much female succor throughout his life, despite his misreadings of his opposite gender. Also had a reputed affair with her sister Minna, which was proven by hotel records over a century later. Worked in partnership with several physicians, and began to explore human sexuality as the basis for all subsequent social interaction, using hypnosis to get at the root of his patients’ psychic problems, and formulating his theories surrounding the tri-partite psyche of id, or ungoverned impulses, superego, the internal control and ego, the result of the conflict twixt the two, as well as his belief that childhood held the secrets of all adult behavior. Coined the term psychoanalysis in 1896, and, following his father’s death the same year, began to see the importance of dreams as a revealing tool in the hidden mysteries of the mind. His Interpretations of Dreams in 1899, would be one of his masterworks, and it was followed 6 years later, by his principles on sexual theory, which would make his name both anathema to conventional society, and enlightened to the avant garde intelligentsia, although his views of women and their sexual problems,were formed from his own male bias, and would be later severely refuted by feminist revisionism. Attracted a coterie of followers who would go on to establish unique reputations for themselves in schismatic breaks, including Carl Jung, whom the competitive doctor would later come to anxiously fear. Took a noted lecture trip to America in 1910, in which his views were presented in terms for a general audience. By the early 1920s, his categorization of neuroses had given a foundation to contemporary psychiatry. In 1923, he had his first operation for cancer of the jaw, and spent the rest of his life under medical attention, and in great pain and suffering, although remained a tobacco addict, despite its deleterious effects on him. Continued writing and theorizing, covering a wide swath of subjects, including totems, taboos, religion and civilization and its discontents. A continuous fount of ideas, he introduced many concepts to the western canon of social and self-analysis, which met with alternate resistance and awe, but insured the immortality of his name as one of the seminal thinkers of the century. Compromised repeatedly with the Hitler regime to keep psychoanalysis alive in the fatherland, but was finally forced to leave Austria when the Nazis invaded in 1938, although he had to sign a written statement, that he was treated fairly by the authorities, which he did. His final work was Moses and Monotheism, a look at the delusions and desires of religiosity through the highly relevant lens of his current times. Died via assisted suicide the following year in England as a result of the inoperable cancer, as a titan in exile, whose ideas would be angrily debated, challenged and denied in the rich intellectual legacy that he left. Introduced repression, identification, Oedipal conflict, displacement, sublimation and projections, among other theoretical phenomena of the human psyche. Many of his concepts, however, have been proven to be way off-base, so that he remains a curious figure, a brilliant inventor, whose true inventiveness may have been to lead people onto the correct paths from the incorrect ones he laid out. Expressed a desire at the end to continue his explorations into purely psychic phenomena from a scientist’s viewpoint. Inner: Competitive, neurotic, but brilliantly inventive and eager to court controversy for his willingness to chart uncharted tabooed areas, in order to find universal truths about human existence. Felt religion kept humanity in a childlike state, yet preferred keeping his acolytes in childlike obedience to his own cult figure. Saw women as intellectually inferior, and did not integrate his own ideas in the interpersonal details of his own life. Pathfinder lifetime of creating distorted maps of the human interior from his own biased explorations, and leaving a giant, if heavily flawed, legacy in his wake. David Hartley (1705-1757) English physician and philosopher. Outer: Father was a poor Anglican clergyman, mother died the year he was born. His sire remarried, and the 2nd union produced 4 more half-siblings, but he also passed on when his son was young. Educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, and became a fellow there for 3 years beginning in 1727, until he married Alice Rowley four years later, which terminated his fellowship. She died in childbirth of a son of the same name who became a statesman and inventor. Although he was educated for the Anglican ministry, and was devoutly religious, he did not take holy orders, because of his refusal to assent to the 39 Articles of the Church of England, and instead practiced medicine in several cities, including London, without getting a degree. Married again in 1735, to Elizabeth Packer, whose family took great umbrage at her choice of husband. Nevertheless, his wife’s wealth allowed them to live in London, although her fragile health eventually drew them to Bath, where he spent the remainder of his career. Son and daughter from the union. Lived a simple life, dedicated to serving both rich and poor alike. His major work, published in 2 volumes in 1749, was Observations on Man, His Frame, His Duty and His Expectations, in which he formulated the psychological system of associationism. Also advocated a physiological psychology, showing that both the mind and body work in concert. His son of the same name became a statesman and inventor. Felt ideas were interconnected, descriptive of experience and sequential. Through his medical knowledge, he gave a physical basis to psychological thought, acting as a precursor to his later self, by explaining inner phenomenology through a physical, rather than a metaphysical basis. Inner: Amiable and methodical, with a wide assortment of friends and the desire to champion a number of causes. Felt the soul was the product of human consciousness, and saw fear of death as a psychological phenomenon that could be overcome. Subdued lifetime of operating in a more rational and enlightened environment, freeing him from the reactive fears and loathing of his 2 earlier investigations into the nature of spiritual and political humankind. Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) English philosopher. Outer: Born prematurely, when his mother became alarmed at the amassing of the Spanish Armada. Father was an angry vicar, who disappeared after assaulting a neighboring parson at his own church door. Brought up, along with his other 2 siblings by an uncle, who was a well-to-do glover. Educated at local schools, showing a precocity for classical studies, then completed his schooling at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, where he poured over books of travel and maps. Spent most of the rest of his life as a tutor of a companion to the Cavendish family, who were earls of Devonshire. Made several continental tours with them, and in Italy, discovered that the basis for his education, Aristotelian principles, was being severely challenged by science, and decided on his return to make himself a classical scholar. Translated Grecian texts, re-proving Euclid’s theories, seeing the diversity of motion behind all perception, while also working for philosopher Francis Bacon (Aldous Huxley). Managed to alienate both sides in the upcoming English Civil Wars, with his views of government and escaped to France in 1640, where he published a treatise on his belief that peace can only be achieved by the people giving their power away to an absolute sovereign. In 1646, he became a math tutor to the exiled future Charles II (Peter O’Toole). Published his theories on sovereignty, and in 1651, he brought forth his ultimate political work, Leviathan, a further support of secular rule, which so offended the clerical hierarchy in France, he was forced to return to England and make amends with the new Puritan regime. Suffered more academic controversy on his return for his anti-papist stances, but held his own in a series of publications. After the Restoration in 1660, he enjoyed favor at the court, which counterbalanced the enmity that the clergy bore towards him. Also became embroiled in more scientific controversies, and had to burn some of his papers to protect himself against potential charges of heresy. In his 80s, he translated the whole of Grecian Homer’s work into English verse, and wrote an autobiography in Latin verse, while enjoying a far better reputation abroad than at home. Inner: Empiricist and rationalist, extremely scholarly and well-read. Considered a forerunner of logical analysis, and is best remembered for his dictum about the brevity and brutality of life. Saw God-besotted humanity as a great danger to itself through its irrational beliefs. Fey sense of humor and sly wit, with a willingness and a relish in taking on the sages of his day. Saw fear as the primary human motivator, and his alternative was a singular powerful figure at the political helm. Leviathan lifetime of pitting his outsized intellect against the political, scientific and spiritual issues of the day, and surviving intact, despite steadfast enemies all along the way, to leave a lasting published monument to his own monumental mind. Michael Servetus (Miguel Serveto) (1511?-1553) - Spanish physician and theologian. Outer: Origins obscured. Studied law in Toulouse, France, where he began to question the orthodox view of the Trinity. Accompanied his Franciscan patron to the coronation of Charles V (Napoleon) in Bologna, but was deeply disturbed by the ostentation of the Church, and quit his patron to visit the seedbeds of the Reformation in Switzerland. Met with Reformation leaders in in Basel and Strasbourg, and published his ideas on the Trinity in 1531, stating that the Word is eternal, while God’s spirit lies in the hearts of humanity, and Jesus was an intertwining of the 2, which managed to alienate both Protestants and Catholics. Forced to issue a revised formulation the following year. Moved to Lyon under the name Villanovanus, and turned his attention to scientific treatises. Failed to meet with hyper-Protestant John Calvin (Martin Heidigger) to debate his claims, and in 1538, published a pro-astrology text, Biblia sacra ex Santis Pagnini tralatione, which won him the enmity of the medical faculty at the college in Paris where he got his degree. Became physician to the Archbishop of Vienna, while maintaining the illusion of being a practicing Catholic, and keeping his potentially heretical studies to himself. Published his best known work in 1542, promulgating a theory of prophecy. Forwarded a revised and enlarged form of the manuscript to Calvin, who not only rejected it, but stated that if the former came to Geneva, it would be his last earthly visit. Secretly printed 1000 copies of the book, in which he also announced his discovery of the pulmonary circulation of blood, as well as his belief that Church’n’State needed to be separated in order to give full spiritual power to the former. Exposed to the inquisitor-general of Lyon and both he and his printers were seized. Escaped during the trial, and was burned in effigy. In a strong death wish, he showed up in Geneva, and was promptly arrested and tried for heresy. Calvin played a dramatic role in his trial, calling for his beheading, rather than being burned at the stake, in an unconscious desire to separate his intellect from his physicality, in the same way that he wished to divide Church’n’State. Found guilty, and was burned alive, despite his genuine orthodox feelings for both the Bible and the Christ. Inner: Questioning and questing, with a naif belief that the simple search for truth would be viewed by one and all as a transcendental pursuit. Transformative lifetime of questioning the tenets of his time, without fully realizing the danger in doing so, leaving him with the fearful realization of the brutality and brevity of mortal existence, which he would philosophically explore in his next go-round. Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) - Spanish/Eyptian philosopher and physican. Outer: Of Jewish descent. Father, Maimon, was a noted scholar, and his son’s first teacher, giving him rabbinical instruction, before turning him over to Arab masters, who gave him the best education available at the time. From early on, he eschewed both mysticism and poetics for nuts-and-bolts philosophy and science, which would ultimately be his intellectual province. When he was 13, his native Cordova fell into fanatical Muslim hands, and his family was given the choice of conversion or exile. Choosing the later course, they spent the next dozen years as wanderers in their homeland. In 1160, they finally settled in Fez, in Morocco, where they led a double life, pretending to be Muslim. Studied at the University of Al Karaouine, but came to unwanted public attention through his superior abilities, and was accused by an informant of having relapsed from his presumed religion, which sent his family on the road again in 1165. After living for a brief stretch in the Holy Land, they finally settled in Fostat, or modern day Cairo, in Egypt, which would become his permanent home. His father soon died, and his brother supported the family by trading in stone, only to perish at sea with his fortune and the fortunes of others that were entrusted to him. Internalized these tragedies, and went through a long period of ill health, while being forced in his early 30s to work for the first time in his life to support himself. Feeling it was a sin to profit from his immense religious learning, he became a doctor, and as in his other pursuits, showed such a marked proficiency, that he was appointed physician to the royal family of the sultan Saladin (David Sarnoff), winning many honors and distinctions. After his first wife died young, he married the Arabic sister of one of the royal secretaries, who in turn had married his only sister. The union produced one son, Avraham, whom he lovingly educated to be an exemplary scholar, and the latter eventually succeeded him as court physician, as well as Nagid, or head of the Egyptian exiled Jewish community, a position which his succeeding family would hold for four generations. Despite the long hours his practice involved, he produced a host of works on which his future reputation would stand, written in both Hebrew and Arabic. Saw the human capacity for discovery consistent with the revealed truths of God, and all the metaphysics of the Greek and Muslim philosophers available to him already embodied in the Bible and the Talmud. A confirmed Aristotelean, he employed Biblical means to support many of his theories, while viewing the various celestial spheres as intelligences unto themselves. Explained away evil by denying its positive existence, therefore making it impossible to emanate from that ultimate in positive forces, God. Able to expound on virtually all the ethical and religious questions of his era through the basic assumption that humanity and divinity operated on completely different levels and principles, while dividing his rationales into numerical subsets. Saw humanity’s highest capability in its capacity to know God. In this regard, bodily needs had to be subservient to humanity’s capacity for reason. Felt that intellect was to the soul as form was to matter, so that good and evil were always a question of choice to it, and its quintet of faculties: the nutritive, the sensitive, the imaginitive, the appetitive and the deliberative. By his early 50s, he had completed his prime ethical work, the “Moreh,” although many of its rationalist conclusions did not sit well with the Orthodox rabbinic community of the time, and he found his efforts attacked from all sides, with a particular emphasis on his continued lack of citing authorities for his various conclusion, which he did for the sake of brevity. The last part of his life was marked by increasingly ill health, and he was greatly mourned after his death. The Moreh would become a contentious document between liberals and conservatives on the European continent, and when they turned to the Christian authorities following his passing for a just judgement on it, the latter promptly ordered it to be burned. It would survive the edict, however, and go on to serve scholarship in not only the Hebrew world, but the Christian scholastic sphere as well, as a monument of the medieval mind’s capacity to know the universe through the sacred and secular writ that preceded it. Also known for “The Guide for the Perplexed,” a philosophic rumination on Aristotle’s (J. Robert Oppenheimer) thought and its relationship with and contra Judaic thought. Inner: Wished above all else to bring system and order to the oral and written law that lay at the heart of Judaism. Held as his three pillars of proof of all his perceived truths, the rational abilities of humanity, its ability to perceive through its senses, and the trustworthy authorities it created around moral and ethical questions. Supreme rationalist lifetime of putting his focus on Biblical exegesis as explanation of both the phenomenological and metaphysical provinces, while creating a body of work that would inspire and stimulate the philosophical minds of the centuries to come, an ongoing preoccupation of his doctorly sensibilities. St. Luke (Lucanas) (fl. 1st cent. AZ) - Grecian physician and evangelist. Outer: A native of Antioch, he was a Syrian physician who became a disciple of St. Paul, accompanying him on some of his journeys. May have studied medicine at the school of Tarsus, and because of his knowledge of the Mediterranean, may have been a ship doctor, as well, in his extensive travels throughout the Grecian world. Met numerous apostles and disciples, and seems to have been direct witness to any number of events limned in the New Testament, including St. Paul’s last imprisonment. Frequently met with St. Peter as well Author of both Acts and the third Gospel, and the singular one of the four evangelists who was not a Jew and absolutely did not have direct contact with the prophet Jesus. Probably one of the first members of the Christian community to dwell at Antioch. Tradition states he lived until the age of 84, and died unmarried. Spoke to the Gentiles of the Grecian world, underlining poverty, prayer and purity of heart. His Gospel also focus on the role of women in the story of the heartmaster, as well as showing his keen powers of observation and analysis, in his ability to connect sacred and profane his/story. His symbol was the ox, or the sacrificial animal, and his feast-day is October 18th, making him a fall apostle. Inner: Gentle, observant and extremely analytic. Sacred healer lifetime of honing his mind in extraordinary times to become a deeply felt reservoir of the human condition, which he would continue to explore from both scientific and spiritual vantage-points.


Storyline: The lyrical spiritualist sacrifices his great gift for lofty expression in order to make himself a more complete human being with a greater sensitivity to the suffering around him, and an ongoing love of God that transcends any of his material concerns.

John Stott (1921-2011) - English evangelical. Outer: Mother was a Lutheran and a regular Churchgoer. Father was a Harley Street physician and an agnostic, who wanted his son to enter the diplomatic corps. Fourth child and only son. Taught by his progenitor to loge the natural and became an expert self-taught ornithologist. Discovered Jesus as a teenager at Rugby after feeling weak-willed and disconnected from God. Excused from national service as a conscientious objector, although later came to see WWII as a just war. Received his BA at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1943, and his MA 4 years later. Ordained a minister in the Church of England in 1945, and spent his career as the Anglican pastor of All Souls Church in London, living in a modest two-room flat for decades. A prolific writer, he penned the classic “Basic Christianity,” in 1950, which has remained a sovereign text for evangelical Christianity ever since. Wrote all his works in longhand, in a cottage in Wales, which did not get electricity until 2001. The author of more than 40 books, he was immensely influential, while eschewing acclaim, feeling pride is one of the deepest sins and temptations of Christian leaders. Unmarried, he spent the latter part of his life training pastors in Asia, Latin America and Africa, in his ongoing desire to bring the Word to as many people as possible, under the auspices of the John Stott Ministries, while also conducting week-long events at universities in many countries, trying to integrate young minds with the larger heart of the divine. Served as chaplain to the queen from 1959 to 1991. His final book, “A Radical Disciple, published in 2010, was his way of saying goodby to his readers. Died of age-related complications, surrounded by family and friends. Cremated and had his ashes buried in Wales afterwards. Inner: Modest, erudite and extremely thoughtful, with an affinity for birdwatching. Great desire to integrate the ancient Word with the modern world, seeing the Bible as an ultimate authority. deeply committed to the need for social, economic and political justice and passionately concerned about climate change and ecological ethics, Felt Christians should listen to the word of God as well as the world around them. Love-of-God lifetime of putting down his poetic pen to raise up his preacherly voice, in his ongoing desire to allow his extraordinary gifts of language to give expression to his great love of Christian morals and mores. John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) - American poet and abolitionist. Outer: Of Puritan and Quaker descent. 2nd child and eldest son of farmers, very attached to his mother and younger sister. Had a limited education, but the household supported learning, as well as deep religiosity, and he had a deep love of John Milton’s works, an earlier life of his. Friend of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison (Allard Lowenstein), who helped him get into Haverhill Academy, but he left during his 2nd year because he didn’t want to live off the charity of others. Edited several Boston papers, beginning in 1829, while also working as a journalist, and publishing verse. Suffered a nervous breakdown, and went back home to be attended by his mother and sister. Became involved in the abolitionist cause, was elected a delegate to the Anti-Slavery Convention in Philadelphia in 1833, then 2 years later became a member of the Mass. legislature. Broke with Garrison, over his feeling that abolition would best be served through direct political channels. Founded the Liberty party, and continued to work as editor of various periodicals, while putting his political sentiments in verse. Staunch Quaker, which also alienated from the more extreme slavery abolitionists. Wrote hundreds of hymns, and helped found the Atlantic Monthly, to which he was a regular contributor. Unmarried, he lived with female relatives. Ultimately became famous through his poem, "Snowbound," published near the end of the Civil War. Poor most of his life, although well-feted. Largely a sentimentalist in his verse, moralizing rather than rhapsodizing in an attempt to make the language secondary to the sentiment. One of the few of the great artists who lessened his abilities in order to become a more complete spiritual being. During the last decades of his life, he was such a beloved figure that Massachusetts made his birthday a school holiday. Inner: Non-materialist, deeply religious and honest. Recognized his limitation as a poet, citing Milton as an example of a great builder of lofty rhymes. Politicized lifetime of channeling his religiosity into the cause of anti-slavery, while continuing to express his powerful puritan spirituality through diminished written exposition. Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) - American theologian. Outer: Father was a pastor, mother was the daughter of a pastor. 5th child and only son of 11 children, who were brought up in an affectionate, pious household that revered learning. Received a rigorous home education, then entered Yale College at 13, graduating at 17, before studying theology for 2 years. Became a Presbyterian minister, returning to Yale as a tutor. Tall, slender and erect with delicate, feminine features, piercing eyes and a quiet voice. In his mid-20s, he became assistant to his grandfather in the church of Northampton, Mass, and 2 years later, was made its pastor. In 1727, he married Sarah Pierpont, a woman of ecstatic piety and common sense, 11 children from the union. Felt that the Puritans had strayed from the true Calvinist faith by adopting good works as a means of salvation, when he saw that God is all, and a direct love of the divine was the human key to sharing in the deity’s glory. Kept a ledger of losses by Catholic countries, seeing in them the defeat of the Antichrist. Began preaching hellfire and brimstone sermons and was in goodly part responsible for the Great Awakening of the time, which elicited conversions, violent emotional display and unGodly behavior. His most famous sermon, which was delivered in 1741, was “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” describing an omnipotent God and a depraved humanity. Showed himself to be a brilliant writer on the varieties of religious experience. Began refusing giving communion unless candidates could give evidence that they had received God’s saving grace. Finally dismissed in his late 40s by his congregation for his overzealousness and settled in Stockbridge, Mass. where he became missionary to the Amerindians, and wrote on Freedom of the Will. 7 years later, he was appointed president of the college that would become Princeton, but died shortly afterwards from complications from a smallpox inoculation. His ideas affected young America for a century after his death. Inner: Deeply pious, uncompromising in his principles and precepts. Impassioned, perceptive and analytical, although quite literal in his larger Biblical views. Harsh and severe, but with a tenderness towards the poor. Excellent powers of analysis and observation. Adept with language and logic, knew the great grace of words, and was continually toting numbers as signal of the coming millennium, when the thousand years of God would begin. Felt life had to give some manifestation of benediction. Worked out the principles of the Enlightenment in theological terms. Rational spiritualist who believed in humanity’s total dependence on the grace of God. Philosophical activist lifetime of living totally within his precepts and allowing his penetrating intellect to affect the spiritual life of his country for generations to come. John Milton (1609-1674) - English poet and prose writer. Outer: Eldest son and third child of a well-to-do scrivener and amateur musician, who wanted him to be a literateur. Didn’t have much connection to his mother, although enjoyed singing and playing the organ in his sire’s recitals. Initially educated at home by private tutors, with a focus on languages, and was writing poetry by the age of 10. Went to Christ’s College, Cambridge, where he began to publish moral poetry, and evince the ability to write in several languages, while remaining extremely scholarly. Studied on his father’s estate afterwards, accepting several commissions for masques. Traveled abroad for 15 months, mostly in Greece and Italy, before returning to London at the outset of the English Civil War, and became a teacher, taking pupils into his house, while becoming involved in the reformation of the Protestant church, as a Puritanical pamphleteer. In his mid-30s, he married Mary Powell, the 17 year old daughter of a squire with royalist leanings, who left him after a month, only to return several years later, 3 daughters and a son who died in infancy from the union. His wife passed on 7 years into the marriage, after giving birth to their final daughter. In the interim of their interrupted marriage, he penned several tracts on divorce. Deeply caught up in the religious and civil controversies of his tumultuous times, he wrote many polemics on civil and religious themes, raising the dander of churchmen and laity alike with his righteous spiritual stances. When the Puritans rose to power during the English Civil War, he was made secretary of foreign tongues. His eyesight was always weak, forcing him to depend on secretaries, and he eventually went blind by his mid-40s, losing sight in his left eye, then four years later in his right. At the same time, he married Katherine Woodcock, who was nearly a quarter century his junior. One daughter from their union who survived only a few months, while his second wife predeceased her. Continued supporting the Puritan regime even after the death of its head, Oliver Cromwell (Robert Kennedy). At the Restoration of the English monarchy in 1660, he received a prison sentence, but thanks to friends, won a release and was pardoned. In his mid-50s, he married Elizabeth Minshull, the red-haired cousin of his doctor, and 3 decades his junior, who outlived him. Finished his masterwork during this period, Paradise Lost, a lengthy disquisition on the devil, giving him his imagistic due, which many consider the finest epic poem in the English language. Further augmented his canon with Paradise Gained, which explored Jesus’ temptation in the desert, and Samson Agonistes, the latter a blank verse tragedy on a fellow blinded man of great inner strength. Used his family to help him complete his later works. Continued writing the rest of his life, and wound up in the high pantheon of the Western literary and spiritual canon, before finally dying of renal failure due to gout. Inner: Severe, uncompromising, puritanical to the core. Temptation was his favorite theme. Wound up with a dual reputation: represented by some as sociable and ultimately serene, and others as tyrannical and a misogynist, who mistreated his daughters, and made his heavenly home into a hell for those who served him. Both God and word-besotted, with an incomparable gift of image and language. Archetypal puritan lifetime of embroilment in the civil and religious controversies of his time, while producing a stunning packet of poetry for the ages, in celebration of his overweening and ongoing deep sense of Christian sense and sensibility. John Gower (c1330-1408) - English poet. Outer: Little known about his life. Probably from a family of some wealth, or rose to it on his own power. May have been a merchant in London, and may have trained for the law, although he never practiced it. Became a landowner in several counties, indicating he either inherited or came into considerable wealth. Probably married when he was younger, although there is no specific record of his first wife. Conversant with the English court, and probably a court official of some sort. Friend of Geoffrey Chaucer (Vikram Seth), who called him ‘moral Gower,’ although the duo had an ultimate falling out. His reputation as a poet would subsequently suffer in comparison with Chaucer, despite the superiority of his verse. Lived in a priory, to which he was a generous benefactor, married a fellow parishioner who may have been his nurse, Agnes Groundolf, at the advanced age of 70, and ultimately went blind around the year 1400. Literarily obsessed with sin in his works, as well as corruption, and wrote in Latin and Anglo-French, the upper-class and court language of the time. Best known for the Confessio amantis, upon which his reputation lies. Buried in Southwark Cathedral in a tomb which still survives. Inner: Moral, upright, and once again ultimately blind to all that did not fall within his narrow scope. After numerous go-rounds of being inside the Church, began his separation into the secular world to see if he could uplift it from within. Tunnel vision lifetime of playing at the court with the powerful, while living outside the Church and expressing his spirituality through his writings.. St. John Damascene (c675-749) - Syrian monk and theologian. Outer: Son of a wealthy caliph’s tax official in Damascus, whose office was hereditary and who was a Christian. His sire arranged for the release of a Sicilian monk who had been a prisoner of war, in order to serve as tutor to his son, giving him a wide-ranging education in everything from music to mathematics to theology. Succeeded his father as the chief representative of the Christians to the caliph. After the Byzantine emperor took an iconoclastic stance in condemning the worship of images, he bravely wrote 3 discourses on the veneration of sacred icons, and was condemned for it around 716, although the condemnation was later overturned, despite his attacking the emperor. The latter forged a letter in his hand which treacherously purported to offer to betray Damascus. Despite pleas of innocence, the caliph ordered his right hand to be cut off as recompense for the perfidy, but legend had it, it was miraculously restored through prayer. Offered his position back by the impressed official, but instead, he withdrew to a monastery near Jerusalem, and became a monk, spending the rest of his life in study. Called “the Golden Orator,” for his preaching. Prolific writer on Christian doctrine, with particular emphasis on human will. Also a writer of hymns, homilies and poems. Exercised great influence on later theology, and has been viewed as the last of the Church Fathers. Inner: Golden tongued lifetime of involvement in the intellectual spirituality of his times, with language, once again, as his particular pathway to his sense of God and the eternal. St. John (fl. 1st cent. AZ) - Judaean apostle and gospel writer. Outer: Father was Zebedee, a prosperous fisherman of Galilee, mother’s name was Salome. Younger brother of the apostle, St. James (Steve Earle), and one of the sacred 12, who became the intimate followers of the prophet Jesus, after earlier having followed their sire’s trade and been fishermen. He and his brother were known as the ‘sons of thunder,’ for their ardent beliefs, their fiery personalities and their willingness to suffer for their faith. Originally a disciple of John the Baptist (Martin Heidigger), he was one of the first called from the former’s inner circle to follow the prophet Jesus. Went back to his original trade, before making the final transition to intimate disciple and apostle. Sent with Peter into Jerusalem to make preparation for the final Passover meal, and he is given an honored place next to Jesus at it. Prominent in the aftermath of the crucifixion, adopting the Virgin Mary as his own mother, and acting as an important figure in the organization and dissemination of the new religion. Escaped the martyred death meted to his brother, and tradition has him living a long life, eventually settling in Ephesus, where he probably limned his account, as well as his meditations. Accepted by some as the writer of the 4th Gospel, which spoke directly to the Christian world, and was the most symbolically oriented of the four stories which comprise the life of Christ in the New Testament. Also given credit for being the first of the apostles to rush to the grave after the resurrection, and the first to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. Also given credit as the first of the seven disciples present who recognized the resurrected Christ when he appear at the Lake of Genesareth. Many critics, however, place the final writing of his gospel considerably later, at the end of the century, or the beginning of the next one. May have been present at the crucifixion through his detailed view of it, including the thrusting of the spear into the figure on the cross by a Roman soldier, ending his suffering, which is not included in the other accounts. Credited along with Peter for playing a prominent part in the founding of the subsequent Catholic Church. Stressed the divinity of the Christ, and is sometimes credited as the writer of Revelation, although the style differs greatly from his gospel account. His symbol was the eagle, for his high, lofty vision, and his feast day is Dec. 27th, making him the winter apostle. Inner: Passionate, poetic and highly spiritual, with a gift for turning symbol into accessible reality. Eagle-eyed lifetime of being there at all the crucial moments of early Christianity and turning his experience into lofty, everlasting sentiment. Zephaniah (fl. 7th cent. B.Z.) - Hebrew prophet. Outer: Name meant “Yahweh has hidden,” which was probably a reference to his remaining hidden from the atrocities around him. Gave a lengthy four generation genealogy of himself, even though it would later be open to question. Possibly of royal blood, although biblical scholars disagree, since nothing of substance is known about him. His writings indicate he was deeply concerned with those who had strayed from Mosaic Law and were sinners in his eyes, following the dissolute descent of his fellow Hebrews during the reigns of two equally spiritually degenerate kings over Judah, whose loyalty to Assyria as vassals trumped their sense of duty to the Torah. Probably had some effect during the earlier reign of king Josiah in purifying the Temple again, so that he was doubly troubled about the later descent of his peoples. Foresaw the Babylonian disaster and was particularly concerned with the End Times Day of Judgment, mentioning it more than any of his fellow prophets, and its final divide between the righteous and the unfaithful, so that he was quoted several times in the New Testament, as a figure of considerable foresight. Inner: Eschatologically obsessed, with a clear sense of division between the saved and the damned, well before they became the basic duality informing Christian thought. Seen in later times as a Diogenes (Leo Tolstoy) figure with a lamp, looking for an honest man. Heavily judgmental lifetime of feeling he was a preparatory figure for the imminent coming of End Times and its sweeping appraisal of those who deserved to spend their eternality in heaven, and those who would be relegated to darker regions elsewhere.


Storyline: The quiet academic employs his long-standing philological love of language and myth to create a magical Middle Earth kingdom that transcends both time and culture, while continuing his longtime association with his fellow folklorist and fantasist.

J. R. R. Tolkien (John Ronald Reuel Tolkien) (1892-1973) - English writer and philologist. Outer: Of German/English descent. Family had emigrated to South Africa several generations earlier. His father was a branch manager of the Bank of Africa. One younger brother. Sent to England at age of 3, with his brother and mother to the West Midlands, the latter’s ancestral seat. His progenitor died a year later, leaving the family in financial straits, so that his mother set up a home and educated him. Had a happy childhood, lived in genteel poverty, and proved to be a good student with a remarkable gift for languages, to the point where he could make up his own, just for fun. His mother converted to Catholicism, which estranged her from both sides of the family, then died of diabetes when her son was 12. Placed in the care of a Catholic priest, and along with his brother, remained a pious Roman Catholic the rest of his life. At a house, in which he was a boarder, he fell in love at 16 with Edith Mary Bratt, who his 3 years his senior, but he was separated from her by his priestly surrogate father, who forbade him contact with her until he was 21, a demand to which he stoically adhered. Educated at Exeter College, Oxford, where he studied the Germanic languages, Old English, Finnish, and Welsh, and invented his own linguistic system. Reunited with his love, who converted to Catholicism for him, and they married in his mid-20s, 3 sons and a daughter from their blithe union. Got his first class degree at Oxford, then fought in WW I as a battalion signaling officer, but was deeply shaken by the loss of friends in the trenches. Contracted trench fever half-way through, which exempted him from rest of the fighting, although he continued suffering from recurring bouts of the illness throughout the remainder of the war. Worked as a lexicographer, then taught at the Univ. of Leeds, where he made languages a highly popular course. Became a professor of Anglo-Saxon in 1925, then English Language and Literature at Oxford for the rest of his working life, where he allied with C.S. Lewis to make languages equally accessible there. A hasty and indistinct lecturer, but a brilliant philologist, as well as essay writer, he focused on fairy tales and characters in English mythology. Amused himself by making up stories for his children, while being part of a loose group of Oxford writers who called themselves the Inklings. Best known for his Middle-Earth Hobbit trilogy, Lord of the Rings, which he had begun as an undergraduate, and then continued working on in fits and starts for several decades. Its preliminary volume, The Hobbit came out in 1937, while the Rings trinity was published in the mid-1950s, originally to mixed reviews from the critics, but overwhelming approval from his reading audience. The popularity of his works, which made him embarrassingly rich, and the frequent callers at his door that it created, forced him to move and hold his home address secret from all save family and close friends. Retired in 1959. After the death of his wife in 1971, he returned in Oxford, where he held many honors as a philologist and student of ancient Germanic literature. Made a CBE the year before his death. His works were later edited by his son, Christopher. Inner: Scholarly, quiet, strong Catholic sensibilities. Claimed “a pen is to me as a beak to a hawk.” Donnish lifetime of entwining his dual loves of learning and fantasy, while maintaining his close connection with his longtime brother/friend. Wilhelm Grimm (1786-1859) - German writer and folklorist. Outer: Son of a prosperous lawyer, who was town clerk of Hanau. Mother was the daughter of a city councilman of Kassel, with a tendency towards melancholy. Younger brother of Jacob Grimm (C.S. Lewis), to whom he was deeply attached, sharing the same bed and room with him while growing up. 2nd oldest out of 6 out of 9 children who survived. Their brother Ludwig became an accomplished painter, and also wound up illustrating his siblings’ collected fairy tales. His father became a district judge, and the family lived in comfortable circumstances, replete with servants, although he suddenly died when his son was 10, leaving his brood in grim, awkward financial straits. Forced to depend on outside help afterwards, from their aunt, which allowed both he and his sibling to study at a prestigious high school, where his teachers treated them as economic lessers. Studied 12 hours a day to compensate for their reduced status, and like his sibling graduated head of his class. Joined his brother at Marburg Univ., where he shared a similar interest in the philological roots of the law via folklore, and also had to continue to prove himself, because of his relatively reduced circumstances. When Jacob went to Paris in 1805, he realized their mutual interdependence, and vowed that they would never part again. Acknowledged his older brother as head of house afterwards, and always deferred to him in matters of scholarship as well. Worked with him when he was a private librarian in Westphalia, although was frequently incapacitated by attacks of asthma. Ultimately became a library secretary in Kassel, working in tandem with his more scholarly sibling, as a literary philologist. Together they resurrected the poetry of the German past. Their first volume of Germanic fairy tales in 1812 was a huge success, which was followed by a second 3 years later. Afterwards he worked alone on the project, continually revising it over a 40 year period to make it more suitable for children. All told 7 editions would be printed, with the last coming out two years before his death. Married at 40 to Henriette Wild, the daughter of a Kassel druggist, who had known both brothers for over two decades, and had been one of their story tellers, three children from the union, including one who became a noted art his/storian. Continued living with his brother, who remained an intimate part of his growing brood. Together they maintained their rigorous scholastic routines, while his wife proved a willing support for their work, seeing he was wed to both her and it. Moved to Gottingen in 1830 with his sibling when he was passed over for a position to which he was entitled, and added teaching to their library work. After Jacob publicly protested the abolishment of the constitution by the new king of Hanover, Ernst Augustus (Ernst Roehm), and was given 3 days to leave the country, he had a lengthy period of unemployment, but both brothers were aided by the public, until they were called to Berlin by members of the Royal Academy of Sciences to continue their work. Their most ambitious project followed, which occupied the rest of their lives, in which they made available to the reading public the last 3 centuries of German literary language, giving further foundation to the philology of Old German. Predeceased his brother by 4 years. Inner: Outgoing and gregarious, with a poetic nature, and strong romantic inclinations. Interdependent lifetime dedicated to the discovery and preservation of the German language in both its literary and etymological forms, while remaining closely entwined with his longtime brother/cohort. Nicholas Brady (1659-1726) - Irish poet and clergyman. Outer: Father was a major in the king’s army during the English Civil War. Mother was the daughter of a judge. Sent to England at 12, he enrolled in Westminster College, then Christ Church College, Oxford. Returned to Ireland after getting his B.A., and lived with his father in Dublin, getting his M.A. at Trinity College, before becoming a prebendary in Cork. Married Letitia Synge, the daughter of an archdeacon, in his early 30s, 4 sons and 4 daughters from union. Supported William of Orange (Lyndon Johnson), in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and saved the town of Bandon from burning, before settling in London where he became a lecturer at St. Michael’s. Collaborated with his close friend Nahum Tate (C.S. Lewis) on the psalms of David. Also did translations. Received the living of Richmond, Surrey and ended his quiet career there. Inner: Great love of hospitality, with expensive habits. Quiet lifetime of the mind, lived in collaboration with longtime brother figure, while combining his dual appetites for poetry, spirituality and life’s subtle pleasures. Phineas Fletcher (1582-c1650) - English poet. Outer: Elder son of a diplomat and writer, and brother of Giles Fletcher (C.S. Lewis), as well as cousin of playwright John Fletcher (Jeff Buckley). Educated at Eton, then King’s College, Cambridge, receiving his B.A. and M.A., and becoming a teacher. Ordained a minister, he married in his mid-30s, 8 children from union. After becoming a fellow of his college, he took a leave of absence from the university, and following the production of his first play, ended his academic career, because he didn’t receive the emoluments to which he felt entitled. Became chaplain to an aristocratic family for approximately 5 years, and then was a church rector for the rest of his working life. In 1627, he published a poem in both English and Latin attacking the Jesuits. His best known work was The Purple Island, an allegory of the human soul, published in 1633. Less the master of soaring language than his brother, and more the chronicler. Modeled himself on Roman poet Virgil (Ezra Pound), beginning with pastorals and ending with epics, and also, like his sibling, was influenced by poet Edmund Spenser (William Butler Yeats). Wrote under the literary names of Myrtil and Thirsel. His productivity was undiminished throughout his life. Inner: Scientific, as well as spiritual outlook. Enthusiastic, childlike, poet of moods, mercurial. More autobiographical and erotic than his brother in his verse. Emotion-exploring lifetime of continuing to develop his sense of spirit, imagination and science. Sigebert of Gembloux (c1035-1112) - Benedictine monk and chronicler. Outer: Probably of Latin, rather than German descent. Educated at the monastery of Gembloux, and became a monk there. Taught at the Abbey of St. Vincent in Metz for 2 decades, and began writing idealized hagiographies of the saints, as well as localized figures of spiritual importance. Returned to Gembloux around 1070, a venerated and deeply admired figure, in order to teach and to continue with his chronicles, and biographies of central figures of his home abbey. His life stories and his/stories proved source material for later medieval writers. At the end of his career, he became a strong imperial supporter in the ongoing controversy between the papacy and Holy Roman Emperors over the investiture of bishops, lending his pen to the claims of the latter, going so far as calling Pope Paschal II unchristian for his demands. Best known for “Chronicon sive Chronographia,” a chronicle of the world, which was noticeably light on his/story, although it was widely read and copied, and proved an influential document of the time. Inner: Prequel lifetime of chronicling the middle earth of the saints, popes, kings and abbots to give grounding to his future fancies and fantasies. Methodius (c820-884) - Byzantine apostle, administrator and Bible translator. Outer: Father was the Byzantine commander of Thessalonica. Mother may have been a Slav. One of seven brothers, including his younger sibling, St. Cyril (J.R.R. Tolkien). Sent to Constantinople to continue his education and take his place at the court there, but was convinced by a monk to renounce the honors of his station, and became a priest, entering a monastery in Bithynia, to join a colony of ascetics called Olympus, where he would later be joined by his sibling. Served as administrator of a Slavic region, while also involving himself in Byzantine political affairs as an abbot. Sent by the Byzantine emperor along with his brother to Moravia in 1863, under the auspices of its ruling prince, Rostislav, who wished to countermand the influence of Frankish prelates in his domain with teachers who could preach in the Slavonic language. Established a Slavic school under Grecian influence there, while undertaking, along with his brother, the translation of the Bible and Liturgy from Greek to Slavonic. Spent four and a half years on the task, while becoming, in the process, “Apostle to the Slavs,” for his combined work with his sibling of translation and evangelizing. Complaints by German priests and the archbishop of Salzburg that they were infringing on his territory, would eventually send both of them, along with their disciples, to Rome in 868, where they were given much honor for their evangelizing. Lost his brother the following year, and was consecrated archbishop of Pannonia by the pope, after he had created the Archdiocese of Moravia and Pannonia. Returned there in 870, only to be imprisoned for two years by the German bishops in residence. His release was secured by the pope, with the forewarning to stop the use of the vernacular liturgy. An active proselytizer, he also preached among the Bohemians and Poles in northern Moravia. In 879, he was called to Rome on charges of heterodoxy and disobedience through plaints made by a German priest, although was cleared of both charges and was confirmed as archbishop of Moravia. The pope then sanctioned the Slavonic Liturgy. Continued to be harassed by the same German cleric, although remained in the good graces of the Vatican. Went to Rome, where he completed his translation of the Bible, although the spurious attacks made on him by his enemies eventually wore him down, and he died soon afterwards. Inner: Like his sibling, a rejecter of the privileges and position of his early life, in order to pursue his own sense of serving the divine. Lightworker lifetime of working in close tandem with his brother, as apostle, administrator and translator, only to suffer the slings and arrows of competitive Christian forces, and, despite prevailing over them, ultimately allowing them to diminish him. St. Damasus I (c304-384) - Italian pope. Outer: Father was a Spanish-born priest at a Roman church, at the time the Emperor Constantine (Mohandas Gandhi) made Christianity the state religion of the Roman empire. Mother was long-lived and extremely devout. Became a deacon in his sire’s church of the martyr San Lorenzo, and ultimately rose to the position of archdeacon, where he had considerable say in the Roman See’s power structure. When the pope Liberius was exiled by the emperor in 354, he followed him, although soon returned to Rome, and continued to support him against an appointed anti-pope, until the latter was expelled after the true pope returned. When Liberius died a dozen years later, both he and Ursinus were elected simultaneously to the Chair of St. Peter, by competing bands of supporters, with his coming from the aristocracy, officialdom, and the city’s highborn women. Riots and much violence ensued between the two factions, before Ursinus was banished. Supported by St. Jerome (C.S. Lewis) among others, he prevailed in a synod called in 378, although his rival continued to intrigue against him for the rest of his life. Ultimately a three day riot causing numerous deaths heralded his seating, before the emperor Valentinian I (Richard Burton) intervened, although not before his supporters committed one final massacre of his rival’s men. Accused of complicity in their murders, although his supporters cleared him. His subsequent reputation, however, would suffer, despite his being a pious, nonviolent person. As pope, he actively condemned various schisms threatening the unity of the Church, most particularly Arianism, while appointing St. Jerome as his confidential secretary, as well as his intimate counsel. Under his auspices, Jerome revised the Bible into a more accessible Latin, known as Vulgate, and it would be the most remembered feat of his pontificate. Saw the final vestiges of paganism removed from the Eternal City by the emperor Gratian (Peter O’Toole), while using the tombs of martyrs as a means of elevating popular spiritual sentiment, often composing the inscriptions on them himself. Built a library for the papal archives, while setting up an easy reference system for papal rulings. Also did quite a bit of minor building. Canonized after his death, and viewed as the patron saint of archaeologists, while his feast day would be the 11th of December, the date of his death. Wrote his own epitaph, “He who walking on the sea could calm the bitter waves, who gives life to the dying seeds of the earth; he who was able to loose the mortal chains of death, and after three days' darkness could bring again to the upper world the brother for his sister Martha: he, I believe, will make Damasus rise again from the dust.” Inner: Scholarly, valuing learning, .and an amateur poet, although a mediocre writer at best, with the Roman poet Virgil (Ezra Pound) as his model. Devoted to the Roman martyr San Lorenzo, building a church for him where his father’s house once stood. Mitered lifetime of close association with his longtime brother as co-champions of orthodoxy during the tenuous times of the early papacy. St. Andrew (fl. 1st cent.) - Galillean apostle. Outer: From a family of Jewish fisherman. Father’s name was Jonah or John. Younger brother of Simon, the future St. Peter (Reinhold Neibuhr), and older brother of Philip (Rem Koolhaas, an apostle as well. Became a disciple of the wilderness prophet John the Baptist (Martin Heidigger), but quickly realized that Jesus of Nazareth was a far greater figure and began following him. After a short time he realized he was the Messiah and became one of his twelve original apostles, as his very first disciple. Brought his brother into that select fold, while continuing his family trade, until he was asked to be a full-time devotee, as a fisher of men. In the biblical listings of the apostles, he is always mentioned among the first four. Present at the Last Supper, and a witness of the Ascension, while helping to establish the Christian faith in Palestine. After the transcendental death of Jesus, it is believed he continued preaching in Asia Minor and Scythia. Founded the Church of Byzantium, and was crucified for his efforts by the order of the Roman governor there, although he was tied, rather than nailed to his cross, per his request, so as to elongate his suffering and not directly mimic the precise passing of Jesus . While in that state, he continued to preach to those gathered beneath him as witnesses to his martyred death. Two countries would eventually claim him as their patron saint, Scotland and Russia, with Scotland’s flag the cross of St. Andrew. His relics are believed to have found their final resting place in Amalfi, Italy, while his feast day is November 30th, which may have been the day he died. Considered the patron saint of those who earn their livings from the sea, as well as happy marriages, and all status of womanhood from maidenhood to expectant mothers to old maids. Inner: Loyal, resourceful, faithful and extremely enthusiastic, a perfect spreader of the good news that a savior had alighted upon the Earth. Figure of intuition as well as language, who reacted immediately to the sublime presence of those he felt spiritually superior to him. More than willing to subsume himself to a greater calling, and eager to spread the gospel, understanding the power of words over the minds of his various audiences. Fisher of men lifetime of being there at the dawn of Christianity as a fraternal proselytizer, on his way to becoming an imaginative chronicler of both culture and faith in the coming millennia.


Storyline: The evangelical essayist parallels the philosophical thought patterns of his times, as both thinker and theologian, growing ever more conservative with the developing horrors of modernity, as he tries to make sense of an increasingly amuck world, through re-embracing the roots of his own ongoing love affair with pure Christian mythos.

Reinhold Niebuhr (Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr) (1892-1971) - American theologian and philosopher. Outer: Father was a German immigrant, who had come to the U.S. at 17, and became a Reformed Minister, serving as pastor to small town midwestern German-American communities. Mother was the daughter of a missionary. Grew up in a highly religious environment, with his sire a proponent of activist Christians working for social improvement as well as religious conversion. The third of four children, with a younger brother becoming a teacher and theologian of note, and an older sister also serving as a seminary professor. The clear favorite of his sire, he decided to follow his progenitor’s pathway, and went to Elmhurst College, which he left without getting a degree, before going to Eden Seminary, and then Yale Univ., from which he received a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1914. 6’1”, 180 lbs, with blue eyes, blonde hair, a hawk nose and a saturnine complexion. The following year he was ordained, and he moved to Detroit, where he had a decade-long ministry in a middle-class suburb, which would prove to be his one and only pastorate. A preacher’s preacher, he wound up cited in more American sermons than anyone outside of the Bible. As an antidote to his German root during WW I, he presented himself as a zealous patriot, which would affect his thinking later on. Saw firsthand the dehumanizing effect of the auto industry on its workers, which would make him completely reassess the liberal Protestant work ethic on which he was raised. In response, he published his first book, “Does Civilization Need Religion?” in 1927, in which he questioned pride, sin and the capitalist social order. The following year he moved to NYC and joined the faculty of Union Theological Seminary, where he would remain the rest of his working life, retiring in 1960. Flirted with socialism and Marxism at the outbreak of the Depression, and once ran for office as a Socialist, but ultimately went back to his religion’s early Christian roots to try to address his increasingly more conservative overview. In 1931, he married the English theologian Ursula Keppel-Compton, who was the first woman to win a “First” at Oxford, and wound up lecturing on religion for several years at Barnard. Son and three daughters from the union. In his books of the period, he attacked liberal Protestantism as totally out of tune with modern industrial society, before acknowledging that Christ’s death on the cross was the only real transcendental means for humanity to get past its basic sinfulness. Championed myth as the means to understand the Bible, which he had grown to embrace as the antidote to modernity’s ills. Delivered what came to be known the Gifford lectures at the Univ. of Edinburgh in 1939. They would appear in two volumes in the early 1940s, as a summation of his life’s work, and would be subsequently amended and expanded upon. In them, he examined the concept of the self, in all its ambiguous glory, and proposed the Christian faith as the healing balm best suited to deal with it. Abandoned an earlier belief in pacifism, to fully support America’s involvement in WW II, in a movement he spearheaded called Christian Realism, in which he advocated nuclear arms development, and America’s aggressive engagement in the postwar world, as an active force against communism. Felt that political activism lay within the bounds of his self-appointed role as social healer, and eventually he helped found Americans for Democratic Action, a liberal study group that operated within the Democratic Party. Thought that Arab anger on the creation of Israel would quickly subside, and vigorously supported the executions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for spying in the early 1950s, although later recanted that stance. Suffered a stroke in 1952, which severely curtailed his activities, although he would continue writing for another near two decades, while his stances changed, and he became more dovish with age. Credited with penning the Serenity Prayer used by Alcoholics Anonymous, and was an enormously influential figure in post-WW II America, with everyone from liberals to neoconservatives claiming him as an inspiration. Also attracted his fare share of criticism, including the astute observation, he “wrote first and thought later.” Inner: Pragmatic and a dialectician at heart, while once again living primarily in the world of ideas, with a deep embrace of Christian tenets as hs means of understanding the modern world. Served as a living embodiment that religion mattered in public life. Less connected in his personal relationships, save for that with God. Balked at the self-definitive term theologian, seeing himself rather as a “teacher of social ethics,” although he chafed that he was viewed as something of an impostor by the theological establishment. Christian realist lifetime of continually changing with his political times, while retreating back to his theological roots for his ultimate rationales, as an ongoing Protestant pastor for America, and its ever-changing sense of itself. Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - American minister, philosophical poet and essayist. Outer: Seven of his paternal forebears had been New England ministers, while his maternal ancestry was made up of mercantilists. From his sire’s side of the family, he wound up inheriting a great love of liberty, a virtuous sense of self-sufficiency and an idealistic view of the world. Father was a Boston minister who died when his son was 8. Three of his siblings passed on in childhood, one was retarded at birth, and another spent time in a lunatic asylum. 4th of 8 children, and very close to his three brothers. After his progenitor’s early death, his mother ran a boardinghouse to support her young brood. Eye trouble and tuberculosis also marred his early life, which saw him as an extremely serious young lad, who was disliked by the neighborhood boys for his preference for books to play. Had the good fortune of a deeply spiritual aunt, Mary Moody Emerson, who imparted some of her tough eccentric brilliance on him, and influenced him greatly in her strong belief in his abilities. Proved to be an undistinguished scholarship student at Harvard, graduating 30th in a class of 59, although he garnered recognition for his oratory and essays. Afterwards, he became an assistant in his brother’s school for young women for three years, although he disliked the work. At his aunt’s urging, he entered divinity school to become a Unitarian minister, although his studies were interrupted by ill health, which improved after a trip to the south. Became a minister, and in 1829, he married Ellen Tucker, the consumptive daughter of a Boston merchant, who died of the dis-ease 17 months later, to his everlasting grief. Soon afterwards, he abandoned his pastorate, when he lost his belief in the communion rites of the church, although he continued preaching until 1847, utilizing a musical voice and a commanding style to excellent advantage. Despite his various disappointments, he found nurturance and sustenance in books, easily replacing a life of the body with a life of the mind. Liberally borrowed from his favorite authors, particularly Thomas Carlyle’s (Edmund Wilson) dictum that the writer was the modern-day priest. Went on to meet him and the Lake District poets, on a trip to Europe in 1832. Lived with his mother on his return, and became a lecturer. Married in 1835, while changing his second wife’s name from Lydia Jackson, to Lydian so that it would be more euphonious with his own surname. Four children from the union, with his oldest son dying of scarlet fever at 5. His second marriage was initially rapturous, and eventually settled into mutual dependence, which he came to value more than love. Subsequently crushed by the death of two of his brothers in 1834 and 1836. Settled in Concord, where he established lifelong patterns of writing in the morning, walking in the afternoon, and socializing in the evening. Had as a house guest for two years, Henry David Thoreau (Edward Abbey). Didn’t really begin to emerge until his 30s, when he began spearheading the New England Transcendental movement, which viewed nature and humanity in idealistic terms, and promulgated a life of the spirit in celebration of both. Saw his fame steadily grow, as he championed the infinite possibilities of humanity as a reflection of the divine. Became a highly effective speaker through his locutions, his deeply spiritual presence, and his message, while touring the various circuits available to him for a generation. Visited England a second time in 1847. Always emphasized the ideal and the idealistic, finding many of the actualities of America contemptible. Although an advocate of reform, he favored its Olympian sense, rather than the down-and-dirty specifics of it. Despite remaining largely aloof from many of the passions of the time, he espoused the Union cause when Civil War broke out, although was ambivalent about the women’s suffrage movement. Liberally borrowed his ideas from his vast readings, although maintained an antipathy towards novels. Wrote in a lucid epigrammatic style, and occasionally published verse, as well as criticism, always looking to elevate his reader, rather than overwhelm him or her with his considerable erudition. Received an LL.D. from Harvard in 1866, and six years later, his house burned down, but was rebuilt through the graces of others. Made a third European trip, satisfying a lifelong desire to visit the Valley of the Nile. His memory began to fade afterwards, but he remained upbeat and tranquil to the end. Died of pneumonia, and was buried near Thoreau. Inner: Kindly, imperturbable, and courteous. Despite his reputation as a distant being, he had extremely strong feelings about the issues of his day, particularly slavery and women’s rights. Felt his moral imagination was his true strength. Good sense of humor, with democratic principles and aristocratic tastes. Saw divinity in everyone, although was not particularly enamored of great masses of people, much preferring the ideal of Man to the ordinary intercourse of humanity. Always wrote in terms of elevating the reader, and presenting his material in terms of reaction, rather than the inherent power it held within. Brahmanic lifetime of celebrating ideals and the greater glory of humanity, while assiduously avoiding the darker side of his species, in a go-round dedicated as a paean to lofty intellect, as well as modest self-celebration as one of its more articulate voices. George Berkeley (1685-1753) - Irish philosopher and prelate. Outer: Eldest son of a cadet branch of a noble Irish family. Matriculated at Kilkenny College, and then received his master’s from Trinity College in Dublin in 1707. Remained there afterwards as a tutor and Greek lecturer. Began his publishing career with an essay on mathematics, a secondary interest of his, which he would periodically pursue, ultimately making some valued contributions to the field. In 1709, his “Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision,“ brought him notice, while adding greatly to the science of optics, despite considerable resistance to its conclusions at the time. Went on to play with the philosophic consequences of perception, taking optics to its next level, by conjoining existence with perceiving, in the dictum “to be is to be perceived.” Felt uncomfortable with the philosophic tenets of materialism that were prevalent at the time, and was roundly debunked for his perceptions on perception. Unlike many of his fellow philosophers of the Enlightenment period, he directly integrated God into his musings, crediting Him with an infinite mind behind all thought and belief, which made perception possible. During the 1710s, he spent time in England, and also traveled extensively on the continent, at the behest of a wealthy family who needed his services as both a chaplain and tutor for the better part of seven years, before returning to his homeland, and taking Holy Orders in the Anglican Church of Ireland. After receiving his Doctor of Divinity, he chose to remain at his alma mater, where he lectured on both Divinity and Hebrew. Made Dean of Derry in 1724, and the following year, he began a project dedicated to founding a college in Bermuda that would train ministers for the colonies, as well as missionaries to the heathen indigenes. Married Anne Forster, the daughter of the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, in 1728, and gave up the security of his position to emigrate to the brave New World. At least one son from the union. Bought a plantation near Newport, Rhode Island, which he dubbed “Whitehall,” but no financial support for his project was forthcoming from England for his plans. In 1732, he was forced to return to London, where he took part in creating the Foundling Hospital, a home for the city’s abandoned children. Served as one of the original governors of the institution and was also appointed Bishop of Cloyne in 1734, where he remained until 1752, at which point he retired, and went to live with his son in Oxford. Seen as an Idealist, who tried to clarify the field of perception by deintellecutalizing it, while his works became more metaphysical as he grew older. Continually reedited them, to make them consistent with his ever-expanding view of the universe, in his desire to integrate his larger sense of God with the limited finite mind of humanity. Berkeley, California as well as its surrounding city would be named after him. Inner: Genial, affectionate, and well-loved by all who knew him personally, although he was seen as a figure of intellectual contention by those who disagreed with his various empirical philosophic stances. Continuation lifetime of bringing his longtime fascination with the Divine’s relationship with the mundane into the Age of Enlightenment, as a champion of the infinite capacity of the former to elevate the finite limitation of the latter in terms of knowledge and empirical perception. Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626) - English bishop and scholar. Outer: From an extremely old family, father was a master of Trinity House, a longtime shipping concern. Brother Roger Andrewes was also a cleric, and later worked as a translator under him. Proved a gifted scholar, which got him a fellowship at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, from which he received both a Bachelor and Master’s degree. Because of his scholarly reputation, he was asked in 1571 to be one of the foundation fellows at the inauguration of Jesus College, Oxford, although his subsequent association with it was minimal. Became a fellow of his alma mater and took holy orders in 1580, while lecturing at Oxford, as a champion of the episcopal and apolostic ministries, contra Puritan influence then trying to do away with them. Held the Eucharist as central to his beliefs in the higher power of the mysteries, while seeing true worship as both physical and spiritual in its totality. Advocated the written works of John Calvin (Martin Heidigger) and proved a great favorite of Elizabeth I (Mae West), who made him one of her chaplains, as well as dean of Westminster, where he put considerable effort into the school there. Also a dedicated antiquarian, along with numerous high profile secular Elizabethan figures. Led a monk’s existence, spending the first eight hours of each day, from 4 A.M. to noon, in prayer and study. During the reign of Elizabeth’s successor, James I (Kenneth Tynan), he was made Bishop of Chichester, as well as Lord High Almoner, before receiving two other bishoprics. Viewed as a star performer on the pulpit, with a facility for playful punning, somewhat out of keeping with his saintly character, although his verbal stylistics were roundly copied at the time. Figured prominently in the translation of the King James version of the Bible, as head of the First Wesminster Company, which did the first books of the Old Testament, while the king was sufficiently cowed by his genuine sanctimonious presence to refrain from his usual ribaldry when around him. Made dean of the Chapel Royal, and died full of honors, while his sermons were posthumously collected and published. Inner: Pious, humble and filled with quiet Christian grace. Took Latin seriously as a language of spiritual expression, while he saw English as a secondary vehicle for higher thought, and was able to play far faster and looser with in in his sermons, which he never intended for publication and subsequent review. Seen as the most learned churchman of his times, although his ultimate legacy of sermons do not translate into more modern tastes. Viewed as one of the architects of the Church of England, safeguarding its Roman Catholic elements during the post-Reformation period. Saw himself in the long tradition of the ancient Fathers of antiquity, as a continuation of their deep appreciation of the spiritual wonders of the world. High Church lifetime of imprinting himself on the ever-evolving face of Protestantism as a voice of the ages in his translation works, if not quite his sermonizing sentiments. John Colet (1467-1519) -English priest, educator and philosopher. Outer: Eldest son of a two time Lord Mayor of London. Matriculated at Magdalen College, Oxford, deciding while there to become a priest. Obtained several livings and benefices through family influence, even before his ordination. Toured France and Italy, and got swept up in the humanistic movements there, which would color all of his later thinking. Returned to England in 1496, and was ordained as priest the following year. Became a lecturer at Oxford, focusing on the Epistles of St. Paul, but rather than doing a conventional read of them, he illuminated the persona of Paul, and interwove both personality and context into a much larger whole. In 1498, he met Dutch seeker Desiderius Erasmus (Edward Abbey) at Oxford, and proved a strong influence on his rejection of scholasticism for a far more humanistic view of Scriptures. Spent five years lecturing on the New Testament, before being made Dean of St. Paul’s, while getting his Doctor of Divinity. Became a close friend and adviser, during this time, of future martyr Thomas More (Yann Martell). On his father’s death in 1505, he inherited a handsome fortune, which he charitably used to refound St. Paul’s School, where he was dean until 1519. Endowed the school not only with buildings, but also the foundation for a solid Christian education, with Greek as important as Latin in its curriculum. Composed some of the textbooks, and successfully weathered charges his beliefs were too advanced, in his open call for reform, despite his continued embrace of orthodoxy. Proved to be a pivotal figure in moving England out of its medieval Church moorings into the pre-Reformation period, using his administrative abilities, and preaching, as well as his Biblical exegeses, to do so. Completed the revised statutes of the school in 1518, and died of the sweating sickness, a malady peculiar to the time, which came on suddenly and almost always proved fatal, the following year. Exited just before the full onslaught of the Reformation hit western Europe. Some of his lectures were published, while his correspondence with Erasmus appeared in the works of the latter. Inner: Vigorous and highly cerebral, with great loyalty to the institution of the Church, but an equal need to reform and change it more in accordance with the humanistic wave then prevalent. Felt the old ways needed to be enforced more, rather than changed, and that change began with the priests of the Church. Christian humanist lifetime of employing his gifts as teacher and preacher to reaffirm his love of both God and Christ, while walking with one foot deep in the past, and one in the present, to try to reconcile the differences he saw between the two. St. Ambrose (c337-397) - Roman bishop. Outer: From an ancient Roman family, which had embraced Christianity, and housed among its members, both martyrs and high state officials. Father of the same name was prefect of Gallia, and ruled over a vast amalgam of western European territories, in present-day France, Britain and Spain, as well as north Africa. It was one of the four major prefectures of the Roman Empire, and a position of extreme importance. Some question remains as to his exact birthplace, which was in one of the Gallic cities of his sire’s realm, Trier, Arles or Lyons. Mother was a woman of both piety and learning. Youngest of three, including a sister, Marcellina, who was a decade older and became a nun. In 354, his progenitor died, and the family moved to Rome, where he received an education befitting someone who would eventually be a high official in the empire. The women in his life, his saintly mother and chaste sister, would exert a strong influence on him, making him an enthusiastic proponent of virginity as a true manifestation of God-love. Extremely pious, he soon showed a mastery of the Greek language and its literature, allowing him ultimate direct contact with his parallels in the Eastern church, a failing in the subsequent age, which probably fed into the irreparable schism between the Eastern and Western houses of orthodox Christianity. Studied and practiced law, and became so noted for his eloquence in court, that he was invited to join the praetorian prefect’s council, before being made a consular governor of the northern Italian province of Liguria and Aemilia, by appointment of the emperor. His upright administration in Milan won him the respect and esteem of his subjects, who, at the time, were caught in the ongoing controversy between those who believed in the sacred status of the Trinity and those who professed the Arian faith, which denied the divinity of Jesus, and challenged the supremacy of the orthodox Catholic Church. For the previous near two decades, a tyrannical Arian had occupied the prime religious seat of Milan, and totally misused his office to enforce his own prejudicial hatreds. Following the latter’s death in 374, he came to the city to plead for a peaceful transition, and was acclaimed by the crowd, both clergy and commoner, and Trinitarian and Arian alike as the next bishop of Milan, because of the tolerance he had evinced in his secular office. Despite having no ecclesiastical background, and a reluctance on his part to accept the position, his election by acclaim was confirmed by the emperor, and he reluctantly accepted the appointment, after being baptized by a Catholic bishop. Consecrated in his new position at the end of 374, and subsequently proved to be the very model of a Christian bishop. Began his episcopate by divesting himself of all his worldly goods, giving his own personal effects to the poor, and his landed properties to the Church, while also providing for the continued support of his sister. His younger brother, Satyrus, took care of his mundane concerns, so that his entire focus could be on his sacred duties. Studied Hebrew Scriptures and the early Church Fathers, so as to use them as a teaching tool, while adding them to the mix of his classic Greek education, so as to become a literary distiller of the latter into Latin. Won great support for his charity to the poor, his administrative skills and his upright, unbending character. Always kept the door of his chamber open so as to be accessible to one and all. Ate extremely sparingly, maintained a vast correspondence, and through his sheer industriousness, produced a wealth of written material, while his sermons, which were usually of a practical nature, always attracted overflowing crowds. Steadily confronted the Arian threat, which was embraced by many high level members of Italian society, through synods, logic, sheer eloquence and an obstinacy bred of the deepest of beliefs. Also did battle with old pagan elements, who wished to restore the empire’s ancient religion, and was not afraid to threaten the eastern emperor with excommunication for a retaliatory massacre he had ordered when a Roman governor was assassinated. When Milan was taken by a usurper, he maintained his post, and continued to uphold his position through the various changes of head of state in both the eastern and western empire during the latter part of his office. Became famous throughout Italy for his sermons and high-minded ethics, and served as a strong influence for the central Church figure of the era, St. Augustine (Thomas Merton). His veneration of the Virgin Mary would also carry great weight, and affect the papacy’s vital view of her place in the holy trinity. Eventually wore himself out, and wound up dying, as he probably would have wished, on a Good Friday. In the hours before his death, he lay in his bed with his arms extended in imitation of the crucifixion. After his death, his body became an object of continued veneration in the Milanese basilica where he was buried beside two earlier martyrs, whose relics he had magically discovered during a time of trial for him. His collected commentaries would be initially issued in 1527 under the auspices of Erasmus (Edward Abbey). Inner: Extremely pious, with a rooted sense of judgment in the real political world, coupled with an otherwordly sense of virtuousness and a sound sense of judgment rooted very much in the real world. Perfect combination of magnanimous aristocracy and humble, charitable Christian saint. Felt everyone was capable of salvation, and was always far more interested in the purity of expressed thought than the elaboration of the words behind it. Sacerdotal lifetime of serving as a pivotal teacher and administrator for his times, using his blameless character and unbending conviction to help give further foundation to a beloved institution, the Church, with which he would intimately interweave himself over the centuries. St. Peter (Simon) (c10BZ-c64AZ) - Galilean apostle and pope. Outer: From a family of Jewish fisherman. Father’s name was either John or Jonah. All of the biographical material on him, would be the product of the New Testament. Worked with his younger brothers Andrew (J.R. R. Tolkien), and Philip (Rem Koolhaas), both of whom would become apostles along with him. It was Andrew who eventually introduced him to Jesus of Nazareth, who in turn used his boat as a pulpit to preach to the multitudes on shore. The latter used his boat as a pulpit to preach to the multitudes on shore, and soon afterwards, he caught so many fish, he fell at the feet of the master in homage, and was told, he would now be a fisher of men. Renamed Cephas, or the rock by Jesus, which would be translated into the Grecian Petros or Peter, meaning the same thing. Acknowledged Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah, the son of the living God, and was told in return he would be the rock upon which his subsequent Church would be built, and he would hold the keys to the kingdom of heaven, as reflection of spiritual humanity. Always listed as first among the apostles, he was part of the inner circle around Jesus. His actions and reactions received the greatest amount of print in the Gospels, and he was also by the master’s side through all his public adventures. Helped organize the Last Supper, where he was told he would deny Jesus not once but thrice, and also played a major role in the final Passion. When Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, he cut off the right ear of a slave of the high priest, and then just as the master had predicted, denied him three times during that fateful night. Wept most bitterly over his betrayal, and was not present at the crucifixion. Went to Jesus’ tomb afterwards, to witness the disappearance of his body, then was the first of the disciples to view the resurrected Christ. Given the command, “Feed my lambs...tend my sheep...feed my sheep,” as the designated shepherd of the newfound religion, and after the magical ascension of Jesus to heaven, he became the acknowledged leader of the apostles. As such, he performed various roles as speaker, judge and bringer of the gospel to the Gentiles, so that burgeoning Christianity could become a universal religion, geared towards both Jew and Gentile alike. Imprisoned by the Judaean authorities, his escape was facilitated by an angel, and he resumed his preached and teaching in Jerusalem, before taking to the road, and eventually winding up in the great belly of the beast of the time, Rome. Acknowledged as the first Supreme Pontiff of the new religion, and his papal seat would be known forever after as the Chair of Peter, while Rome would be seen as the Holy See of the western Catholic Church. Eventually came to a martyr’s end at the hands of the Roman emperor and tyrant Nero (Adolf Hitler). Chose to be crucified upside down, because he felt he was unworthy of expiring in the exact same manner as his master. Buried on Vatican Hill, and his relics would ultimately be enshrined under the high altar of St. Peter’s Basilica. His symbols would be an inverted cross, a boat and a cock, as emblem of his death, his earlier life, and his moment of weakness, when he denied the Christ thrice. His primary feast day is June 29th, and he is considered the patron saint of a variety of trades including bakers, butchers, clockmakers, masons and watchmakers. Inner: Emblematic of spiritual humanity in his struggles with his own faith, before accepting both the roles placed on him, and the deep divinity of his calling. There at the beginning lifetime of giving personality and character to the leadership of the early orthodox Catholic Church, before going on to create a well-loved character within its larger confines and schisms, as an articulate and transcendental voice of humanity’s deep love of the Divine. Haggai (fk.6th centB.Z) - Hebrew prophet. Outer: His name means ‘festival or feast,’ which indicated he was born during one of the feast days of the Jews. Not much is known about him, so that his life is largely conjectural. His father’s name is unknown. Born in Babylon during the half century exile there, he was among the first group who returned to Israel in 536 B.Z. Probably still a child at the time, he was brought back by his parents. Along with Zechariah (Yann Martell) and Malachi (Robert Heinlein) he is credited with preserving Scripture in post-exile times, with the later rabbinic belief that when this trio died, so did a good deal of the Holy Spirit depart from Israel, since they are considered the last of the minor prophets. When those who were rebuilding the destroyed Temple of Solomon around 520 BZ, began giving up on their task, he along with his fellow prophet Zechariah exhorted them to continue, seeing the restoration of the Temple as key to the resurrection of Israel, even though the second structure was considerably less grandiose than the first, which had been built to the specifics of sacred geometry, and had more than a touch of the divine about it. A period of inactivity followed, before he rose to address the builders with four metaphorical messages, admonishing everyone for focusing on their temporal affairs, rather than the godly task of rebuilding a most Holy of Houses. Explained to the people and their civil and spiritual heads of state why their lives were so unfulfilling on so many levels, because of their laxity in following God’s will and celebrating His glory. Although work commenced again, it ground to a halt one more time, occasioning more exhortations, until presumably those rebuilding the Temple a second time finally completed their task in 516 B.Z.. His own contribution may have been the shortest of the restorers, since his oracles all were clearly dated and appeared within a four month period, which may have signaled his premature death, since he spoke no more afterwards. Along with Zechariah and Malachi (Robert Heinlein) he is credited with preserving Scripture in post-exile times, with the later rabbinic belief that when this trio died, so did a good deal of the Holy Spirit depart from Israel. Inner: Great believer in the intersection of faith and material reward, seeing doing good as a necessity for living the highly spiritual life. Cheerleader at heart, fully understanding that physical manifestation was a reflection of deep spirit, allowing him to later become the rock upon which the Christian Church was built. Exhorter lifetime of seeing the restoration of the Temple of Solomon as central to his hope for the rise anew of his fellow Hebrews to their righteous and rightful place at the head of the table of all nations.


Storyline: The epistle-packing proselytizer gives serial shape to his beloved Church in go-round after go-round, often briefly playing with worldliness before rediscovering his natural vocation for otherworldliness, to become an ongoing voice of the ages, for Christian orthodoxy.

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) - American Trappist monk and writer. Outer: Father was a painter from New Zealand, who didn’t receive recognition until after his demise. Mother was an artist, as well as an American Quaker. Baptized per his sire’s wishes in the Church of England. WW I caused the family to move to the U.S., where his younger brother was born. His mother died of stomach cancer when he was 6, while his father largely left his sons in the care of his maternal grandparents to continue his own search for adventure on the European continent. At one point, his progenitor took ill with the brain tumor that would ultimately kill him, leaving his son to anxiously contemplate orphandom, but he recovered and brought the latter back to France with him in 1925. The following year, he was enrolled in a French boys’ boarding school, which once again left him feeling abandoned, and he initially pleaded with his father to take him back. Eventually, he reconciled himself to his new surroundings, and grew to find them stimulating enough to do some creative writing while there. Never availed himself of the Church services available there, either Catholic or Protestant, and in 1928, he was brought to England by his peripatetic progenitor to live with his aunt and uncle in a London suburb. Placed in an English boarding school, where he had a better group feel, and attended local Anglican services, where he got into the habit of prayer, although temporarily abandoned it when he left school. In 1931, his father, who had been getting progressively worse, died, while the former’s physican became his legal guardian. Traveled briefly to Rome and Italy, as well as NY, then returned to school, where he became joint editor of the school magazine. Celebrated his 18th birthday by traveling, via rail and foot, on the continent, ending up in Rome, where he inexplicably felt drawn to the churches there. Read the entire New Testament, and felt his father’s presence with him, which led him to see the profound emptiness in his life. For the first time he petitioned God to deliver him, and soon afterwards, following an anxious visit to a monastery, decided to become a Trappist monk. Returned to England to continue his education at Clare College, Cambridge, in a state of spiritual confusion, and began drinking heavily and displaying some very unmonkish behavior around women, while playing the role of the irresponsible spendthrift roué. May have fathered a child during this period, which was hush-hushed by his guardian, after the threat of legal action. Agreed to return to America, and enrolled at Columbia Univ. in NYC, where he briefly flirted with communism. Active on campus as a fraternity member and contributor to campus periodicals, while also becoming a peace activist mid-decade after Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia. Graduated Columbia in 1938 with a BA in English, then did graduate work there. After reading “The Confessions of Augustine,” and unconsciously touching back on his direct past, he began praying regularly again, and devoting more and more of his reading to Catholicism, before finally deciding to convert, which he did later that year. Received his M.A. in English, and decided to continue towards his Ph.D., taking a course on Thomas Aquinas (Ludwig Wittgenstein) although was later convinced not to pursue Thomism as a religious course. Decided to become a Franciscan priest, although circumstances prevented his becoming a novitiate, and instead in 1940, he joined the English dept. at St. Bonaventure Univ., a Franciscan school in NY state. After wrestling with himself over the next year, he came to the Abbey of Gethsemani three days after Pearl Harbor in 1941, and was accepted as a novice monk several months later. Adjusted to the austerity of the Cistercian order, and learned its elaborate sign language, so as to observe its vow of silence. Visited by his brother soon after, who also converted to Catholicism, before dying in a plane crash during WW II the followng year. Began writing while there, despite initial fears it would be an expression of individuality, although the father abbott encouraged him to do so. Felt guilty about a subsequent publication of his poems, before accepting his role as a writer, and soon afterwards had the work he would be best known by, his autobiography, “The Seven Storey Mountain,” see print in 1948. Took his final solemn vows in 1947, and continued with his essays, while also feeling a pull towards the Carthusian order. In 1949, he became a deacon, and was ordained as a priest, while also applying for U.S. citizenship. During his monastic stay, he penned over 60 books as well as a host of essays and articles. Over the years, his abbey benefited greatly from his royalties, while he became a well-known voice of non-violent Christian simplicity, drawing much attention to his heart-felt Catholicism. Felt somewhat constrained about being restricted to the monastery, before a new abbott allowed him to do a tour of Asia at the end of 1968. Met the Dalai Lama, and expressed some desire to remain on the continent as a hermit, but his life ended summarily, when he stepped out of a bathtub onto a poorly grounded electric fan wire, and electrocuted himself, a curiously electric ending to a life deliberately lived apart from the modern world. In another earlier life connection, Bellarmine Univ. in Kentucy, with which he had a close association, became the repository for his voluminous archives, in one final irony of his overt vow of silence. Inner: Well-liked and well-respected by virtually everone who knew him. Very much concerned with social justice, and the depradations of the world at large, despite his deliberate ultimate remove from them. Silent lifetime of speaking as loudly as he could about his love of God, ascetic order and wayward humanity, in a 20th century summation of his many lives in the service of his inspiringly profound sense of spirituality. Ernest Renan (Joseph Ernest Renan) (1823-1892) - French religious philosopher and writer. Outer: From a Breton family of fishermen. Strongly identified with his native environs, and remained deeply attached to it his entire life. Father was a repubican and the captain of a small cutter, while his mother was half-Gascon and a Royalist, as was her sire, a tradesman. Felt torn between his parent’s opposing political beliefs, as well as the family’s divided Gascon and Breton natures. When he was 5 his progenitor died, and his sister, who was a dozen years older, helped raise him, until she left for Paris to become a teacher in a girls’ boarding-school there. Went to an ecclesiastical seminary, getting a solid education, which was augmented by his mother, and accepted the austere Catholicism of his teachers as his own. Won all the academic prizes at the college of Treguier, and gained admission, through the auspices of his sister, to a newly founded ecclesiastical college in Paris, formed to educate both the most gifted students of the country’s seminaries and the Catholic nobility. Only 15 at the time, and never having set foot outside of Brittany, he was overwhelmed at first, although found the Catholicism of the City of Light, curiously unenlightening, with its lack of emphasis on the ascetisim of his youth. Disappointed, he left the school in 1840 to study philosophy at the seminary of Issy, where he hoped to be enveloped by good old time medieval Catholic scholasticism, although here he, too, he saw a divide between the metaphysics that were taught, and the ancient faith in which he still fervently believed. Remained close to his sister, with whom he often corresponded, revealing both his doubts and his continued hunger to find a field that offered the truths he was so desperately searching for, without delimiting his boundless faith. Found it at the college of St. Sulpice, in the study of philology and Hebrew, which gave him the insight he needed into the written details of the Old Testament. Despite his desire to become a Cathollic priest, he felt a strong disconnect from key elements of the Church, and finally opted to finish his education at a lay college. Through his final disassociation from the Church as his all-embracing self-identification, he was able to focus his scholarly brilliance on the scientific real, which he did with a passion, and as a result, the last vestiges of his belief in the supernatural faded away. Continued his studies and in response to the revolution of 1848, penned “The Future of Science,” in which he struggled with the concept of a privileged elite, and the ideal of the greatest good for the greatest number. Went to Italy at the behest of the government, then lived with his sister on his return, who served as his copyist and compiler, while he continued his writing, making a growing name for himself. In 1856, he married Cornelie Scheffer, the daughter of a Dutch painter, and his sister accomodated herself to it, and both his life and writings brightened considerably through the union, which produced a son. Went on an archaeological mission to Phoenicia and Syria in 1860, spending some time in Palestine during the trip. While there, he began his most celebrated work, “The Life of Jesus,” in which he repudiated the supernatural element of the master’s life and largely ignored his moral presence, to focus on his humanity, totally eschewing his son of God aspect. Saw his resurrection as largely a hallucinogenic affair, precipitated by expectation rather than actuality on the part of his followers. By making the messiah more accessible and far less lofty, the work achieved enormous popularity, although the storm in Catholic academic circles led to his removal as professor of Hebrew at the College de France in 1864. Became more politically involved afterwards, watching France’s loss to Germany in the Franco-Prussian, the anarchy of the Paris Commune afterward, and then a return to democratic society, which thrilled him. Published his reminiscensces of his early life towards its end, and was given much honor at the end including being made a grand office of the Legion d’honneur. Died after a few days illness, and left an impressive body of work on the Church, written from the perspective of someone outside its insider purview, unlike every other go-round in this series. Inner: An elitist and aristocrat at heart, despite his relatively humble birth, with a liberal overview of sociiety, and an optimistic sense of humanity’s ability to confront and conquer its failings. Felt nothing was less important than prosperity, while putting all his coin in sheer rationality. Breakaway lifetime of viewing existence from the secular, scientific world, despite early draws towards his natural element of the priesthood, in order to explore the political and ecclesiastical universe from a far more outsider rational approach, unprejudiced by his usual insider theological view. St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) - Italian theologian and teacher. Outer: From a noble but impoverished family. Mother was the sister of future pope Marcellus II. Already writing in Italian and Latin as a youth, his father wished a political career for him in order to restore their house to its earlier glory. His mother’s desire that he become a Jesuit prevailed, and he was educated at a local Jesuit college, where he studied philosophy. In 1560 he entered the Society of Jesus, taking his first vows the following day. Remained in Rome for three years, before going to a Jesuit house in Piedmont, where he learned Greek, proving so proficient that he was teaching it as he was absorbing it. Began his formal study of theology in Padua. Finished his education at Louvain, where he was ordained, and soon developed a reputation as a powerful preacher, who not only drew Catholics to his sermons but Protestants as well. Became the first Jesuit to teach at the university there, taking as his subject matter, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ludwig Wittgenstein). Spent seven years there, until his health became affected by his ascetic practices, and he returned to Italy and the more salubrious climate there. Given a presitigious position, the Chair of Controversies, at the New Roman College by the pope, which he accepted, and spent the next 11 years in it. Wrote his epic work by which he is best remembered, “De Controversiis,” a systemization of the various contentious religious disputes of the times, which had a powerful effect on the various religious continental theological enclaves. Protestant Germany and England in particular, felt an academic need to answer the arguments he put forth, as one of the most astute voices of the Counter Reformation. Championed the papacy as a reflection of the highest forms of monarchical government, although admitted occasional examples of fallibility due to human weakness, rather than the weakness of the office, and upheld his power in the secular world, despite his lack of direct jurisdiction in such matters. Delved into the mythos of the antiChrist, as well as other elements of that gave primacy to Catholicism over the upstart protesters then polluting the continent, in hisview. While on a mission to France, he discovered to his horror, that his work’s first chapter was going to be put on the Index of censored works by the pope, because it gave the Holy See only indirect power over temporal events, but was saved from this disgrace by the death of the pontiff, and a resurrection of prestige in the eyes of his replacement. Given the honor of writing the preface to a new edition of the Vulgate text of the Bible, then was made rector of the Roman College in 1592, and after more offices, was elevated to cardinal in 1599. Immediately afterwards he was made a Cardinal Inquisitor, and wound up as one of the judges at the heresy trial of Giordano Bruno (Timothy Leary), which led to the latter’s martyred death. Received some votes in succeeding conclaves for the office of pope, although was never a true candidate, much to his great relief. After century’s turn, he was made archbishop of Capua, executing his duties with great zeal and authority. Returned to Rome as a member of the Holy Office and engaged in verbal cross/swords with James I (Kenneth Tynan), the English king, with great wit, while defending the Church’s position against the ridiculous apostasies of Galileo Galilei (Werner Heisenberg) that the Earth revolved around the sun, although did not live long enough to see that eminent scientist’s further persecution for his ideas. Returned to his old home as bishop towards life’s end, and continuing his writing up to the end of his life, including he appropriate “The Art of Dying Well,” two years before he expired, presumably passing on in fine fashion himself. Through his writings and actions, he wold be considered one of the 33 doctors of the early Church. Canonized in 1930, largely because of petty political resistance during the long and long overdue period leading up to his acknowledged sainthood. Inner: Chaste, conscientious and virtuous to an extreme. Extremely charitable, humble, and as always, the very model of a Catholic prelate. Saintly lifetime of continuing his longtime association with the Catholic Church as one of its most seminal members, and, as always, acquitting himself in exquisite and exemplary fashion, as a true earthly divine, looking to uplift everyone else to his level, as well. St. Augustine (354-430) - Outer: From a respectable, although not wealthy family. Mother, St. Monica, was an extremely pious Christian, while his father was a pagan and a city official, although his wife managed to ultimately convert him, before his death in 371. Received a Christian education, despite being resistant to the religion, at least on the surface. Sent to Carthage to pursue a career as a rhetorician, he gave in to the licentious pursuits available there, sullying his soul with libidinous behavior. While there, he sired an illegitimate son, whom he named Adeodatus or “by God given,” and who kept him in guilty, but loving, thrall for the next 15 years. Had a particular affinity for the Latin poets, and after reading the pagan philosopher Cicero (Carl Sandburg), he dedicated himself to philosophy as his prime intellectual pursuit. Also became entranced with the dualistic belief doctrine of Manichaenism, seeing in it a religious system untrammeled by bothersome faith. Absorbed all he could on it, while pursuing teaching as a means towards a literary career. Won a poetry tournament towards that end, before repudiating Manichaenism, findling little that was scientifically satisfying about it, after a steady disinclination towards its good vs. evil postulates over a near-decade period. Against his mother’s inability to let go of him, he went to Italy in 383, ultimately to fall under the spell of the Milanese bishop, St. Ambrose (Reinhold Niebuhr), after obtaining a professorship there. Replaced his earlier dualism with the monism of neo-Platonic philosophy, which sent him outside the human realm towards the invisibility of the Divine, and a far more satisfing internal view of the eternal. Went through a three year period of struggle against his sensual impulses, during which time his mother joined him in Milan, complicating matters by pushing him towards marriage to legitimatize his son. Had a fig tree garden epiphany, and, after immersing himself in Scriptures, he came to see that the Christ was his only true pathway to salvation and truth, and converted in 386. Resigned his professorship and retreated to a nearby villa with a few close companions and began delving into Christian doctrine, trying to resolve it with Platonic philosophy, although he remained more enamoured of its intellectual byplay than its emotional core. Baptized in 387 at Eastertime, and wrote extensively about this whole process. His mother died afterwards, satisfied in heart that her son had finally seen the light. Returned home in 388, only to see his son die as well, and with some friends, he formed a small Christian community, which would prove to be a rough model for the monastic system that ultimately would bear his name. Came to Hippo, at the invite of a Christian friend, and was chosen as a presbyter, and then a few years later was made coadjutor to the bishop there and finally bishop of the see, a position he would hold the rest of his life. Lived a community life with his clergy, who were bound by poverty, and they, in turn, would spearhead the monastic movement all over Africa. As such, he would become the patriarch of North African religious and clerical life, while continuing his self-appointed role as defender of the truth as he saw it. Spent the rest of his life adding to his considerable combined works. Inveighed against the other belief systems of his time, including Manichaeism and the Pelagian heresy, which denied original sin, and thereby denied the need of the Church to purify and baptize all entrants to the Earth plane, since they were inherently blameless as they were. With his acute cerebral faculties, he was able to ably address these and other challenges to divine righteousness and human failings, using his own story and inner processes as ethical fodder to do so. Aside from his Confessions, which were penned before the turn of the century, his most enduring work would be The City of God, which was begun in 413. In it, he posited Christianity and the Church as the spiritual inheritors of a civilization that needed to turn its eyes towards heaven for its real nurturance, rather than transient earthly politics. Died during a Vandal siege of Hippo, and was spared at the end of seeing his city fall to their destructive hands. Far and away the most influential of the early Church Fathers, combining profundity and originality to serve as an unparalleled foundation-maker of early Christianity. Canonized by popular acclaim, with his feast day August 28th, the day he expired. Inner: Affectionate, enthusiastic, and dogmatic with a penetrating sense of logic, in all he pursued. Very much concerned with the element of sin, as well as redemption. Constantly searched for verities, and was as powerful a preacher, as he was a writer. The first to truly limn his inner life in Western prose or poetry, setting both a holy and unholy precedent for the compulsively revelatory deluge of introspection to come. Truth-seeking lifetime of delving deep into his own soul in order to emerge fully consecrated by his own intellect, before taking on the emotional issues of his time, with a clear mind and a purified heart, to become a primary Christian voice for the ages. St. Irenaeus (c120-c200) - French prelate. Outer: Little is known of his life, including his date and place of birth. As a boy, he listened to the sermons of the bishop and future martyr, Polycarp of Smyrna, who it was said, was a disciple of the apostles themselves, giving him a one degree connection to the earliest sacred fathers of Christianity. May have accompanied Polycarp to Rome, and then went on a missionary trip to sourthern Gaul, where he became a presbyter at Lyons, which suffered great persecutions to its Christian communities, although he was not there at the time, having, by good fortune, been sent to Rome to confer with the pope. On his return, after the persecutions had ebbed, he was made bishop of Lyons, a position he would hold the rest of his life. Known basically by his writings in Greek, not all of which survived, although he would play an extremely key role in the formation of the early Church. Deeply disturbed by the gnostic movement, he would become the Church’s first great theologian. It was through his auspices that the Gospels of the New Testament were chosen, with the specific idea of creating a hierarchical Church to give Christian belief a solid and temporal world foundation through specific structure. Rejected the gospels that did not do so, and his choices of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as the foundation of the New Testament would be cemented in the fourth century by the emperor Constantine (Mohandas Gandhi), as would his selections of the Pauline epistles, the lesser books, and the Book of Revelation. May have died as a martyr in a further spate of persecutions, although his death date remains unrecorded, as do the circumstances of it. Inner: Key lifetime of literally giving Biblical foundation to the creation of Christianity as a world religion, before returning again and again to give further shape and detail to a belief system that would be, in no small part, the product of his ongoing commentary and creation. St. Paul (Saul of Tarsus) (?-c64AZ) - Grecian missionary. Outer: Parents held Roman citizenship, although his early life, as well as his year of birth remain cloudy. Father was a merchant, and he was raised as a Pharisee. Originally a tentmaker by trade, he first came to Jerusalem as a young man to study Judaic lore and law, and garnered a reputation as a learned doctor. Unprepossing physically, he was homely, bearded, balding and small, with eyebrows that met, a long nose and deep-set eyes. Never personally knew Jesus of Nazareth, although he was in Jerusalem on the fateful weekend he was crucified. Following the crucifixion, he actively persecuted the early Christian sect, and took part in the stoning of St. Stephen, the very first of the Christian martyrs, although was given considerable pause when the latter forgave his executioners. Applied for a commission to arrest all Jews at Damascus who professed the new Christian sect, but towards the end of the trip, he was struck by a light, and fell to the ground. Heard a voice say, “Why dost thou persecute me?” and when he arose, he realized he had been struck blind. Led by hand to the home of a Jew ironically named Judas, where he sat without eating or drinking for 3 days. Wound up cured by a believer in the new faith, which caused him to convert and be baptized, and immediately begin giving voice to the credence that Jesus was the Son of God. After a period of recovery in Arabia, he returned to Damascus, where he was prosecuted for his turncoat ways, and wound up escaping by being lowered in a basket over a wall, and heading back to Jerusalem, where he was grudgingly accepted as having genuinely seen the light, by those he had earlier oppressed. Took on the role as a primary messenger of the new religion, and became an adept healer and converter, showing boundless energy and enthusiasm, as he used the Roman network of roads to his extreme advantage, traversing the communities of Asia Minor as a spearhead for the new sect, while always viewing himself and his message as Jewish in content, in his religion’s longtime messianic tradition. Preached redemption through faith in Christ, as the eternal son of God, and the Church as the mystical body of the savior. His epistles, which were all written on the fly, would later form an integral part of the text of the New Testament, as would his other writings, while his profound sense of loss that he had missed the master on his final days, led him to believe in a second coming, and an end of days, which he felt would occur during his lifetime. This eschatological projection would become an intimate and integral part of Christian lore, particularly after the final book of the New Testament, Revelation, would propound the same theme in far more poetic manner. Ultimately took three major missions, in unconscious imitation of the trinity at the base of the sect he was representing, but on his final return to Jerusalem, he was attacked by a mob, and then tried and judged for his apostasies, before serving two years in prison. Retried afterwards, he appealed to the Roman authorities as a citizen, and on his way to Rome, he was shipwrecked, imprisoned, tried again and exonerated. Continued his missionary work, and finally fell into the irretrievable hands of Rome. His last years are a matter of conjecture. May have died around the same time St. Peter (Reinhold Niebuhr) did, or may have expired several years later, after a further missionary trip to both the east and west. Accepted martyrdom and was beheaded, as symbol of a final separation between his higher mind and lower body. Probably the single most important figure in grounding the new religion on the Earth plane, thanks to his boundless energy, his belief in the eternality of the Christ figure, and the universality of his message. Inner: Driven and obsessive, with an absolute surety about his calling. The possessor of almost superhuman energy in his travels, preaching and writing, once he had embraced the Christ as the long-awaited Jewish Messiah. Not particularly in touch with his feminine side, which would have a profound effect on the subsequent evolution of Christianity, with its askance view of sexuality, save a means of marital procreation, and its celebration of the spiritual as elevated and the physical as debased. Man on a mission lifetime of grounding orthodox Christianity, with an energy and passion so profound, that it would transcend the ages, before giving it further shape and ballast, as one of its prime, and everlasting apostles.


Storyline: The polymath man of letters finally finds his heart and soul during the romantic era after many a go-round as a detached disseminator of data looking to bargain with the devilish enticements of fame and fortune for the cultural predominance of his times.

mJohann Goethe (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) (1749-1832) - German writer and scientist. Outer: Son of a stern imperial counselor who had risen from humble origins, and was retired, enabling him to travel and have a well-stocked library. Mother was the daughter of the mayor of Frankfurt. First-born, and one of only 2 children who survived, strong bond with his sister. Had a happy childhood, and was introduced early to both Italian and French culture. Educated by private tutors, then studied law at the Univ. of Leipzig, despite a lack of interest in the subject. Suffered a hemorrhage and returned home for a long convalescence, during which time he explored religious mysticism, as a means of self-divination. Resumed his law studies at Strasbourg, before coming back to Frankfurt to begin his legal career. Worked in the imperial law court, and wrote Young Werther after a frustrated love affair, claiming the suicide of the hero allowed him to continue living. The novel was a sensation throughout Europe, touching a romantic nerve, and he would go on to use romances for the basis of many of his literary works. Briefly engaged, traveled to Switzerland, then accepted an invitation from the duke of Weimar to serve in his duchy, where he remained the rest of his life. Held a central place at Weimar as a creative artist, as well as a governmental official. Raised to the nobility in his early 30s. Traveled to Italy to try to recapture its sense of classical antiquity, spending most of his time in Rome with expatriate Germans. A virgin until the age of 37. On his return, he took up with Christiane Vulpuis, a young woman of no particular intellectual or social abilities, and had 5 children with her, although only one survived infancy. Married her 15 years later in his mid-50s. Fell in love with the actress wife of a banker, who was both his intellectual and emotional equal, during which time his wife died. Had a brother/sister relationship with her, but she served as his undying inspiration. Took a 2nd trip to Italy, and from 1791, he began to explore more of his scientific interests, disengaging himself from his official posts in order to do so. Pursued botany, mineralogy and color theory. Although a mediocre artist, he drew most of his life. Worked closely with Johann Schiller (Tony Kushner), in imbuing German literature with a sense of purpose. Continued publishing novels, and enjoying his stature as grand old man of German letters. Directed the Weimar court theater, as his reputation continued to grow to gargantuan proportions, as the reigning genius of western literature and the last great universal author of Europe. In his 70s, he proposed to a 19 year old, who rejected him. In his 80s, he completed part II of his lifework, Faust, after its first part was published in 1808, allowing him to ruminate on western intellectual his/story under the guise of a deal with the devil. Died of pneumonia after a brief respitory illness. Last words were, “More light.” Speculation on his bisexuality surfaced at 20th century’s end, but it is probably a misreading of his letters and the language of sentimentality of the time. Inner: Unselfconsciously spontaneous, a born channel for literary genius, with an expertise in all genres, from the lyrical to the scientific. Tall and serious, albeit optimistic and manic/depressive. Extremely wide intellectual range, both classical and romantic in his role as a disseminator of rational and emotional knowledge. His passionate emotionalism was eventually calmed by Pietism. Great reverence for rank and authority, never found a regime he couldn’t support, to the point of toadyism, hypocrisy and deceit and a willingness to crush revolutionary spirit. Promethean lifetime of creating himself as an Olympic literary figure, worthy of the adulation of the centuries, and filled with great heart, at least for himself, after many lives as a detached observer of the human condition. mThomas Mann (Paul Thomas Mass) (1875-1955) - German writer. Outer: From an old German patrician trading family, with his sire a senator, and his mother of Portuguese-Creole descent. His older brother Heinrich also became a well-known novelist, after rejecting his inheritance. His progenitor died when he was 16, and the family moved to Munich. Joined them three years later, after barely getting his diploma, thanks to a distinct lack of interest in his studies. Worked in an insurance office, then settled into the literary life there. From the beginning of his career, he established himself as an all-seeing eye of Germany, intertwining metaphysical ideas with realistic portrayals. His first novel, Buddenbrooks, a familial tale of decline’n’fall, published in 1901, became an overnight international classic, while some of his family and acquaintances who read themselves into it accused him of libel. Married Katia Pringsheim, a beautiful Jewish patrician in 1905, 6 children from union, although he soon questioned the burden of having a family. Showed a clear preference for his eldest, Erika, a writer and actress who would go on to marry poet W.H. Auden to gain a British passport. Largely ignored the rest of his children, save for one younger daughter, while his family would later refer to him as ‘Z’, der Zauberer, or ‘the magician.’ Had strong homophile tendencies, including a fascination with his son Klaus when the latter was an adolescent. Explored his desires far more through literature than life, particularly in one of his best-known works, Death in Venice. Also known for The Magic Mountain, an affectionate yet critical view of Germany through inmates in a TB sanitarium. Three of his children, including Erika also explored same-sex relationships. Put great stock in appearances, always traveled first class, insisted on having servants, and cultivated the superficial view of a model family, although 2 of his neglected sons committed suicide, including Klaus, a far lesser writer who was extremely resentful of his sire. Despite being a voice of traditionalism, he tried to marshal support for the Weimar republic between the World Wars via essays and speeches. Had a longtime correspondence with his brother Heinrich, the realist to his subjective analyst, revealing an insecure, questioning soul, forever unhappy with his own ambiguous internal life. Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929, and lived extremely well, while basking in his outward conservative respectability. On a lecture tour away from Germany when the Nazis came to power. Subsequently went into self-imposed exile in Switzerland, for which he was totally unprepared, leaving his revelatory diaries with their homophile musings behind, which would have dampened his international reputation considerably if they had been discovered. Unpublished in Germany after 1936, he was deprived of his citizenship, and eventually emigrated to the United States, after getting Czech citizenship in 1937. An outspoken opponent of fascism, although he took a long time to denounce the Nazis, for fear of losing his assets in Germany, before memorably stating, “I am born to be a representative rather than a martyr.” Initially settled in Princeton, and lived well in the U.S. as a lecturer, while maintaining his disciplined writing schedule. Wound up in Pacific Palisades, California, amidst the émigré German community there, and became a naturalized citizen in 1944. During the 1940s, he wrote his last epic, Doctor Faustus, using the symbol of the soul-selling Faust, for the collapse of Germany, and the destructive division between spirituality and sensuality. Given the Goethe Prize when he visited Germany in 1949, although he was also deeply resented by many of his peers for having abandoned his native land, when they had not and had fought Nazism from within. Returned to Europe in 1951, after being hounded by American McCarthyites and the FBI, settling in Switzerland for his final three years, rather than Germany, because of the dualistic reputation he had there. Continually compared himself unfavorably to Goethe as an ideal, although attempted to emulate him in many ways, knowing he did not have the innate spontaneity in his work to do so. His daughter Erika would be his secretary and confidante the last nine years of his life. In his last years, he was able to find some inner peace, before dying of arteriosclerosis. Inner: Self-centered, profoundly German, icily aloof, virtually the voice of a nation. Exploited his family as literary material, while totally ignoring their emotional needs. Obsessed with the decline of European civilization as well as the subject of death, he felt the artist must be political as well as expressive. His dual passions were politics and literature. Conservative traditionalist with a deep sense of his own art. Literary mountain mann lifetime of serving as a detached voice and ironic eye for Germany for the first half of the 20th century, before spinning back in time to become his own ideal. mJulius Caesar Scaliger (1484-1558) - Outer: Little known of his early life, claimed to be descendant of a princess of Verona. Served as a page, then a soldier, before turning to a life of letters. Left Italy in his early 40s to become a physician to the bishop of Agen, where he spent the rest of his life, becoming a French citizen. Married Andiette de La Roque, and the prolific union produced 15 children, with son Joseph becoming a well-known philologist. Set up a medical school, had a successful practice and was twice elected consul of the city. Wrote one early tract on a Hippocratic work, “Concerning Bad Dreams,” and all his other works were published much later in his life. Became known as a scholar through 2 trenchant orations written in Latin against the Ciceronianus of Erasmus (Henry Thoreau), completely misunderstanding that humanist’s satiric bent. Ironically, his above mentioned works were all reflected in a profound inner incident in his earlier life as Jerome. Wrote on a whole variety of scientific and philosophic subjects, and enjoyed a high reputation as a teacher and commentator on the ancient world and its classical approach to poetics. Also wrote Latin verse. Inner: Rationalist, well-grounded, well-respected. Cerebral lifetime of serving as a bridge between the ancient and contemporary medieval worlds, as commentator, critic and scholar. mPliny the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus) (23-79AZ) - Roman polymath. Outer: From a prosperous provincial family, he finished his education in Rome. Began his military career, serving for a decade in Germany, between 47 and 57 and rising to the rank of cavalry commander. Completed first works there, including a study of all Roman-Germanic wars. Returned to Rome to study law and live in semi-retirement, where he devoted his time to scholarship and writing. Appointed procurator in Spain when Vespasian (Alfred Krupp), an old army comrade, was made emperor. Also served in Africa, Gaul, and probably the Middle East from his late 40s to his mid-50s. Unmarried, although adopted a son of the same name, who became a writer and administrator. Spent his life digesting and collating information from all written sources available to him and putting his findings to paper, often surrounded by slaves taking notes. The result, the Natural History, despite distortions galore and a rather crabbed style, would be a basis for scientific investigation until the end of the 15th century. Also wrote a his/story of the Roman world that did not survive the ages. His last position was as commander of the fleet in the Bay of Naples, where he was ordered to suppress piracy. Heard of an unusual cloud formation that turned out to be the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, and went ashore to investigate and reassure the terrified citizens. Died of asphyxiation when overcome by the volcanic fumes. Inner: Indefatigable appetite for facts, although also susceptible to magic and superstition, rendering much of what he wrote scientifically suspect. Encyclopedic lifetime of investigation and collation, ending with a symbolic death that embodied his choking eagerness to experience all new sources of information.


Storyline: The metamorphosizing moralist personifies fear and loathing, particularly around parental figures, but is eventually able to reclaim himself by turning his visionary facilities inward to finally allow himself self-acceptance.

Edward Albee (Edward Franklin Albee III) (1928-2016) - American playwright. Outer: Adopted by the wealthy scion of a vaudeville theater owner chain and a former in-store model turned socialite, who gave him a privileged upbringing. Rebellious son, who loathed his family’s values, and was kicked out of various boarding schools and Trinity College, before settling in Greenwich Village in NYC to pursue a bohemian and homophile lifestyle, and steep himself in the avant-garde of the 1950s. Harbored a strong enmity towards his 6’2” grande dame social-climbing mother, who later disinherited him. Got along better with his father, while spending much of his life sorting out his feelings about the former. Labored at various jobs as an office boy, salesman and Western union messenger while polishing his craft. Able to work out some of his childhood anger through the biting satire of his early work. Didn’t really see his abilities cohere until finishing Zoo Story, which was produced when he was 31, first in West Berlin, then Off-Broadway. Eventually wrote a companion prequel to it, Homelife, some four decades later. Had a huge success with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, about a middle-aged academic couple in a disintegrating marriage. Because of its harsh, earthy language, it established him as a major American playwright, and also made him wealthy in his own write. Got the title from a line of subway graffiti he had seen. Although he would later win a Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for A Delicate Balance and again in 1975 for Seascape, in which he continued to explore uneasy relationaships, his experimental and metaphysical plays had difficulty in reaching their audiences, and he often had adversarial contretemps with critics. A serious drinker, although he eventually came to terms with his alcoholism. Reached his nadir in 1982 after several flops, before spending some time in Europe directing his own productions, and regenerating himself through teaching. Despite long lapses between his later work, he continued writing, finally confronting his two obsessions, death and mother, with his third play to win a Pulitzer Prize in 1994, Three Tall Women. His own homophile relationships were longterm, the last with sculptor Jonathan Thomas, lasting for 3 1/2 decades, until the latter’s death in 2005. The same year, he received a special Tony Lifetime Achievement Award. Lived well, surrounding himself with modern art, and died at home.. Inner: Angry, purposefully provocative and highly critical. Great need for control over his works, visiting them continually during their runs. Uncompromising, with a scathing wit and a telling eye and ear for social foibles. Interested in the conflicts between illusion and reality, as well as exposing the hypocrisies of conventional existence, while remaining prolific into the new century. Had no desire to write his autobiography, feeling his story is all in his plays, which he wrote fairly effortlessly, after considerable forethought. Healing lifetime of actively asserting a longtime sense of fear and loathing through the metamorphosis of the stage, allowing him, in later life, a relative sense of calm he had heretofore thoroughly denied himself, while evincing the same parental difficulties as his earlier go-round, trying to work through a difficult mother figure rather than a tyrannical father as in lives past. Franz Kafka (1883-1924) - Czech/German writer. Outer: Father was a well-built, bullet-headed Jewish businessman who thoroughly dominated his son his entire life. Mother was the daughter of a prosperous prosperous brewer and was unassuming and introspective, traits he also inherited. Had a middleclass upbringing, and lived until he was 31 with his parents, under his begetter’s bullying shadow the entire time. Used to chew his food over and over in order to force his sire into retreating behind his newspaper. His younger brothers died in infancy, and all 3 of his younger sisters would later perish in concentration camps. His progenitor enrolled him in German, rather than Czech schools. Studied law at German Univ. in Prague where he began a lifelong friendship with Max Brod, who nurtured his talent and became his literary executor, biographer and editor. Spent his entire working life as a civil servant, dealing with workers’ accident insurance, spending 14 years in the same office, until one day he didn’t show up in fine Kafkaesque fashion. Expressed dual feelings of being irrevocably intimidated by his father and being unsuitable for marriage in his early anti-naturalistic works. Twice engaged to the same woman, Felice Bauer, breaking off both times with her. Had a surreptitious and passionate affair, which was mostly epistolary, with Mila Jesenska, an unhappily married Czech journalist, who eventually died in a concentration camp, and broke off the engagement again. His final year, he lived with Dora Diamont, a Polish Jew from a religious family, and the duo dreamt of resettling in Palestine, although his ill health forced him, instead, to resettle in a sanitarium, where he died of tuberculosis. Extremely slow, methodical writer, most of his oeuvre was published posthumously, while his father served as a power prototype behind all his works. Best known for Metamorphosis, whose protagonist awakens one day as a giant insect, as well as In The Penal Colony, another transformative work of accepting self-guilt. Wrote of the dread of the modern world, as a prophet of fragmented realities, who added Kafkaesque to the language as a metaphor for nightmarish, convoluted circumstances. Wanted all his work destroyed after his death. Inner: Neurotic, sensitive, unhappy, unworthy, highly intelligent and self-obsessed to an extreme. Wanted to fuse literature and life, and saw his writing as his sole purpose. Personal penal colony lifetime of turning a nightmare father into a metaphor for the cruelty of modernity, while allowing himself to be consumed by his own equally dark fancies and profound sense of personal failure. Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) - Danish philosopher and theologian. Outer: Youngest son of 6 children of a wealthy retired businessman who was obsessed with guilt and fear that he would be punished through his children. Mother had been a maid in his father’s household, and became his sire’s 2nd wife. 2 children did die and his father focused on his youngest, bullying him with the idea of a suffering Christ, and a sense of his duty to sacrifice himself in order to lift the burden of guilt from his family. His sire was old enough to be his grandfather, and gave him an extremely melancholy childhood, which he carried throughout his life. Looked like an old man, even when young, and later acted as a hunchback, without being one. Later realized his father had probably raped his mother, since he was born only 2 months after the marriage of his parents, although these feelings were never confirmed. Upon his discovery of his origins, he became a rebel and led a life of relative dissipation, neglecting his studies at the Univ. of Copenhagen, where he had been sent to study theology in his sire’s hopes he would become a priest. The latter died when he was in his mid-20s, leaving him independent financially. Began writing after an unhappy love affair, breaking off his engagement, because he didn’t think he should share his profound unhappiness with anyone. Felt instead that he was meant to serve God. his first work was Either/Or, positing the moral duality of a life of the senses or a life of ethics and how the twain could never meet in a truly spiritual existence. Continued his melancholy theology in his subsequent works, exploring dread, denial, fear and self-abnegation as pathways of the spirit, while pursuing an either/or lifestyle of a largely uneventful outer life and a turmoil-filled, emotion-wracked inner one in his search for the God within. Except for 4 trips to Berlin, he spent his entire life in Copenhagen. Wrote under various pseudonyms, although did achieve a certain reputation among the more educated of his day. His last year was spent writing broadsides against the Church, particularly its emphasis on intellectuality over passion. Collapsed on the street in his early 40s from mental exhaustion and died shortly afterwards in a hospital, ending an extremely unhappy existence that nevertheless produced some lasting excursions into the realm of the spiritual. Considered the prime modern exponent of the philosophy of Existentialism, which emphasizes active will and freedom of choice in meeting moral experience directly and totally. Not fully recognized until after WW II. Inner: Profoundly alienated, with a not-of-this-Earth sense of his own spirituality. Fear and loathing lifetime of embracing personal unhappiness with a spiritual passion. Rabbi Nachman (1772-1811) - Ukrainian rabbi. Outer: Great grandson of the founder of the Jewish sect of Hasidim, Baal Shem Tov. Brought up in a pious atmosphere, and showed a scholarly aptitude. Totally opposite of his forebear’s simplicity and joyous faith. Had a painful awareness of the absence of God in his world. Viewed by his followers as a proto-messiah, but refused to be a leader, despite expectations of him because of self doubts and a sense of inadequacy. At 27, he took a pilgrimage from the Ukraine to the Holy Land. Suffered numerous hardships along the way and came close to death. On his return, he assumed his hereditary mantle, and gathered disciples eager to revise Hasidim, but saw the movement as compromised. Maintained the ideal of poverty, disdained miracles and didn’t want to be bothered with material blessings. Instead, he practiced private devotion and penitence. Confessed to God daily about his sins, and demanded the same of his disciples, while showing himself totally ambivalent about his leadership role. Married and made a brief messianic attempt at the Christ age of 33, but he saw the death of his infant son as a sign from heaven of failure. Turned to telling tales of symbolic fantasies and qabalistic thought. Died of tuberculosis, leaving no male heir. A disciple succeeded him, but always acted as a surrogate. His followers believed he would resurrect again, although certainly not as Soren Kierkegaard, and much less Franz Kafka. His tales and teachings were published after his death. Inner: Exaggerated sense of self-importance. Megalomaniac with an equal sense of unworthiness. Classic manic-depressive, with behavior alternating between elation and melancholy. Messianic lifetime of being empowered by heredity to allow traditional beliefs to dominate his roiling emotions and serve as an inspiration for his ongoing gift of tale-telling. Jeremiah (fl. 6th cent BZ) - Hebrew prophet. Outer: From a priestly family. Father was a high priest and prophet. Protested when initially called onto preach, claiming to have the tongue of a child, although was quickly disappraised from on high of his self-described limitations. Began his ministry as a teenager and preached in Jerusalem during the four decades preceding the destruction of the Temple of Solomon and the period of exile known as the Babylonian Captivity, for which he became a major prophet of doom and calamity in the wake of moral laxity. Disliked his role, particularly having to criticize a people he loved. He was also forbidden by his sense of the divine to marry or have children, so that he had virtually no intimate support for the role thrust on him. Because he spoke unpalatable truths, he was victim of both prison and the stockades, while never really seeing any change in his fellow Hebrews to bolster what he was doing, which ultimately undid him psychologically, as he steadily sank into deeper loneliness and despair. Understood that the death of the last pious king of Israel, Josiah, around 610 B.Z. meant the end of the northern kingdom as an independent state. Totally shocked when the reaction to the monarch’s death was a reversion to idolatry When Jerusalem finally did fall, he was allowed to stay, and was ultimately taken to Egypt, where he continued his gloomy prophesying, although he eventually came to see that the true region of religion was on the interior, and not in its outer trappings. His demise is unrecorded and may have been consistent with his frustrating life, in which he was stoned to death. His preachings were organized by his secretary and became one of the books of the Old Testament. Jeremiad, or lamentation, derives from his name. Inner: Tenderhearted, and averse to the role thrust upon him. Dark and gloomy truth-seer and sayer, who ultimately sank into himself, unable to abide the profound isolation thrust upon him. Excellent facility for memorable metaphors, a true writer at heart. Prophetic lifetime of making his name forever synonymous with forbidding truths.


Storyline: The pop prophet continually peers into the future from a variety of stances, looking both backward and forwards, in an effort to not only see the larger directions of his times, but also to view his complex and often contradictory self.

Robert Heinlein (1907-1988) - American science fiction writer. Outer: At the time of his birth his family was living with his maternal grandfather, who would prove a tough-minded embodiment of the values he cherished. His father was a clerk for a succession of companies, and his family was active in local politics. Third of 7 children, with three brothers and three sisters. Slept on a pallet on the floor for many years, while the family struggled with the basics, due to its size and his sire’s modest salary. The appearance of Halley’s Comet, when he was a small child, elicited a fascination with astronomy, so that by the time he entered high school, he had devoured every book on the subject in the Kansas City library. A huge fan of H.G. Wells, as well, he wanted to follow his older brother to the U.S. Naval Academy, but policy allowed only one family member there at a time. Went to Kansas City Community College, and began an aggressive letter writing campaign, which succeeded in getting him in. Graduated with a degree in Naval Engineering, while placing 5th in his class of 243, although disciplinary demerits ultimately lowered his ranking to 20th. HIs naval career, however, was cut short by TB, which made him weak and prone to sea sickness, and he wound up retiring early in 1934, with a rank of lieutenant. Married two years earlier to Leslyn MacDonald, a feisty sort who became a model for his earlier fictive heroines. At a loss what to do, he tried silver mining, then graduate school at UCLA, before playing with the idea of becoming a politician after working on socialist Upton Sinclair’s EPIC (End Poverty in California). Lost his only run for a state House seat at decade’s nearend. Discovered he had an innate feel for sci-fi, and over the next decade he became a prolific contributor to Astounding Science Fiction, to the point where some of his entries had to be presented under aliases, so as not to overwhelm the magazine’s contents with a single and most singular author. Decided to quit in mid-1941, while he was on top of his game, to pursue photography and masonry, and at year’s end, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, he tried to reenlist, only to be turned down for health reasons. Instead, he worked as a civilian engineer at the Naval Air Experiment Station in Philadelphia. Tried to interest the Navy in space exploration, but he proved to be a man slightly ahead of his time. Returned to writing after the war, expanding into mainstream magazines, as well as the younger audience, while his homelife disintegrated, thanks to his wife’s growing alcoholism and a genetic predisposition on her part for schizophrenia. Moved out, and the divorce showed he had also been married earlier, although both his first mate and her fate would remain a secret with him. Married a former Navy WAVE, Virginia Gerstenfeld, a scholar/athlete with a B.S. degree in Chemistry and Psychology from NYU, and she would serve as a model for his next slew of overachieving heroines, as well as his all-around factotum, as secretary, business manager, collaborator and ultimately caregiver during his decline. The duo moved to Colorado, where he built his own home, as well as a bomb shelter, only to have NORAD erect an installation nearby, making the area a prime nuclear target, which forced them to move to California, just north of Santa Cruz. Continued his prolific output, including, probably his best known title, “Stranger in a Strange Land,” published in 1961, which introduced the term, ‘grok’ or understand, to the youthful vocabulary of the 60s. Despite being a hero to the counterculture, his earlier socialism steadily morphed into a libertarian right-wing Republican overview, which infected his works, as he began to grow more preachy, and less and less in tune with the youthful idealism of his earlier audiences. His women and his characters became more cardboard as well, as subservient elements to his changing social philosophy. The future, ironically, had caught up with him, and passed him by in his last decades. In 1987, he abandoned his house and moved to nearby Carmel, where he died of heart failure, suffered while he was taking a nap. Had his body cremated and his ashes scattered from the deck of a warship. Ultimately produced 46 novels, as well as a host of short stories, with many of his works seeing further life as TV and film productions. Also won 4 Hugos for his sci-fi classics. Inner: Highly opinionated, and increasingly more crusty and removed, as he grew older. Nevertheless, helped immeasurably in opening the public’s imagination to space exploration. Strongly militaristic in his thinking, revering loyalty and discipline as desired traits, while viewing his/story in cyclical terms, with a distinct libertarian overview. Familiar in a familiar land lifetime of plumbing the future, as always, with his various prejudices intact, so that he was ahead of his time in some arenas, and well behind it in others, just as all prophets always are, in their looking forward through backwards idealistic lenses to try to see a past that never really was in a future that will never be. Edward Bellamy (1850-1898) - American writer and socialist. Outer: Father was a Baptist minister and a descendant of Joseph Bellamy, a leading preacher, writer and theologian of the American 18th century. Mother was the daughter of a Baptist minister, whose freemasonry cost him his congregation. The youngest of three brothers, and cousin of Francis Bellamy, who wrote the American “pledge of allegiance.” Failed in his desire to get an appointment to the U.S. military academy at West Point, and instead studied literature for a year at Union College, before going to Dresden in Germany, for a year where he learned to speak and write German, and studied German socialism. Fascinated by both Prussian militarism and the country’s education system, which he would explore in his writings. Went to England next, and was horrified at the poverty he witnessed there, and the combination of the two experiences turned him into a socialist. Returned to America in 1869, and studied law in the offices of a Springfield, Mass. firm, before opening his own practice. Took exactly one case, which was enough to persuade him that the law was not his calling. Moved to NYC and accepted a job on the staff of the NY Evening Post, before returning to Springfield to write book reviews and editorials for the local paper. In 1874, he penned “The Religion of Solidarity,” an attempt at integrating religion with socialism, while arguing that individuality was largely a delusional state. Founded a tri-weekly with his brother, Charles in 1880, while his real dream was to be a famous literateur. In 1882, he married Emma Sanderson, who had lived with his family since she was 13. Originally opposed the idea of marriage, even when she professed her love for him, but after she became engaged to another, he quickly changed his mind. Son and daughter from from the union. His first four novels were completely unmemorable, but he struck memorable gold with ”Looking Backward: 2000-1887,” which was published in 1888, and became an international bestseller, finding an audience in such unlikely countries as Scandinavia, Russia and China, while becoming the third most popular American novel of the century in sales, trailing only “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and “Ben Hur.” Its militaristic socialism would appeal to Marxists, American nationalists, theosophists, occultists and a host of other ‘ists’ all reading themselves into its utopic vision of the future. In it, he placed a young upper-class Bostonian in the year of 2000 after a century-plus sleep. Posited a state capitalist system that created a utopian society, which struck a deep chord at the time, and he suddenly found himself a celebrity. Wound up spending a good deal of his subsequent time on speaking tours, while Nationalist clubs sprang up to celebrate his optimistic vision of the future, as did all sorts of other societies. Edited a newspaper from 1891 to 1894 called New Nation, which promulgated his ideas, and in 1897, he published its sequel, “Equality,” although it had none of the imaginative resonance of the original. Its cover, however, would feature a swastika as an equality symbol, as a prelude to the national socialism that would arise in Germany several decades hence, as a dark reflection of his ideas and ideals. A victim of tuberculosis, he succumbed to the dis-ease in his childhood home, while playing with toy tin soldiers on his his coverlet, in a curious looking backward moment of his own, in directly returning to his beginnings at his end. Inner: Reticent and modest, until he suddenly had a public platform. Confirmed militarist, seeing the organization and discipline of the martial world as an ideal. Utopian at heart, although felt strong controls needed to be exercised over humanity’s lower castes, in order to effect its collective upliftment. Blinkered visionary lifetime of exploring thematics according to the social precepts available to him, before returning to do the same in the succeeding century that would see his German utopian model take nightmarish form, and make mockery of his limited ability to grok the social dynamics of his own times, let alone the future. Louis Mercier (Louis-Sebastian Mercier) (1740-1814) - French writer. Outer: From a modest petit bourgeoisie background. Father was a skilled sword-polisher, who managed to give his son a decent education. Enjoyed both books and the theater, and in his mid-20s, he decided to live by his pen. Began his writing career by denouncing poetry as the ruination of the French language, before proceeding to flood the popular literary market with everything from pamphlets to plays to novels. Made a professor of rhetoric at Bordeaux, although he found teaching unsatisfactory and returned to Paris, where he continued his assault on the public imagination. Borrowed freely from himself, and gained a solid reputation from his ability to translate his observations into detailed descriptions of his various literary milieus. Highly critical of the dramatists, philosophers and scientists of his time, while holding onto the antiquated observational theory that the earth was a flat plain, around which the sun made daily orbital obeisance. A political moderate, he was elected a member of the Convention during the French Revolution, and was one of the minority who voted against the regicide of the king. Wound up imprisoned during the Reign of Terror for his temperate stand, but managed to escape the guillotine, and was released after the fall of the radical Jacobins in 1794. Managed to live through the succeeding upheavals, and died just before the fall of of Napoleon. Is best remembered for a futuristic utopian novel he wrote in 1771, “The Year 2440: A Dream If Ever There Was One,” in which he conjured up the concept of virtual reality, where moral dilemmas could be created by the push of a button, and appropriate rewards and punishments would be doled out according to the choices made around them. The book would take the same form as his later, “Looking Backward,” in which an unnamed hero falls asleep and wakes up in the distant perfect future, although this one would be several centuries hence, and take place in Paris, rather than Boston. Eliminated everything in his ideal future that displeased him, including monks, priests and pastry chefs, although saw that poverty could not be disposed of. Nevertheless, he posited a far more equitable world whose extremes would disappear, as would its standing armies to enforce the gap between rich and poor. In a sense his prophetic vision would be a reflection of his earlier Judgment Day musings, in which righteousness would be rewarded, and immorality condemned to its own endless hells. The work would prove extraordinarily popular, going through numerous reprints, and it would cement his own future reputation, as a beacon of prognostication rising out of a largely overworked oeuvre, with little to recommend it beyond its own times. Inner: Highly critical, preachy, sentimental and extremely judgmental of anyone and everything that did not conform to his own limited views. Contentious and opinionated character, as always, with his ongoing facility for striding both the past and future in his works. Prophetic lifetime, once again, of continuing his contributions to the eschatological musings of western literature, this time from the perspective of a cantankerous citizen living in volatile revolutionary times, and wishing to see a balanced future that drew society way past them. Nostradamus (1503-1566) (Michel de Nostredame) - French seer and healer. Outer: One of at least nine children of a prosperous grain dealer and notary. The family had been Jewish, before his grandfather converted to Catholicism in the middle of the previous century in order to escape the dark hand of the Inquisition. One younger brother, Jean, became a writer. Probably learned ancient Jewish rites and astrology during his youth, although its specifics are ill-recorded. At 14, he entered the Univ. of Avignon, but was forced to leave after a year because of a bubonic plague epidemic, and for the next 8 years taught himself herbal remedies while becoming an apothecary. In 1522, he entered the Univ. of Montpelier to get a medical degree, and some question exists as to whether he did so, or was expelled, since the school took a dim view of the manual trade of apothecary. While there he became friends with future writer Francois Rabelais (Charlie Chaplain). Allegedly got his degree in 1532, while latinizing his name to Nostradamus. Afterwards, he traveled throughout France and Italy, treating victims of the plague. Used hygiene and the removal of infected corpses from the streets as his antidote, while coming up with a Vitamin C lozenge that was effective in mild cases. His modern methods of diet, fresh air and cleanliness gave him a fairly impressive cure rate, and he found himself a local celebrity. Came to Agen at the bidding of writer and scholar Julius Caesar Scaliger (Thomas Mann) and while there wed Henriette d’Encausse and had two sons, only to lose all three to the plague, while he was traveling in Italy, which ended his association with his patron, while his in-laws sued to get his wife’s dowry back. Made an offhand remark in 1538 that offended the Church and brought charges of heresy, which sent him on his way to Italy, Greece and Turkey, where he experienced a psychic awakening, while familiarizing himself with some of the mystery school traditions. On returning in 1545, when he felt it was safe, he dealt with further plague outbreaks in southern France, before settling in Salon-de-Provence in 1547 and marrying Anne Ponsarde, a rich widow, with whom he had three daughters and three sons, with the eldest and second-born, Cesar, becoming a consul, poet and his/storian, and the youngest, Andre, a Capuchin friar. After settling down, he began moving away from medicine and into visionary work, falling into trances while contemplating a bowl filled with water and herbs. After publishing two works earlier, a translation of the Roman physician Galen, and a medical cookbook, he began writing an almanac in 1550, in which he made predictions for the coming year based on his astrological readings and it proved a huge success, compelling him to publish one every year until his death. By 1554, his visions became central to the almanac and he decided to be a full-time seer, with his projected output called “Centuries.” Planned to write 10 volumes in which he would forecast the next 2000 years, and put out the first 7 volumes, although he held back the last three until after his death. In 1555, he published “Les Prophesies,” but because of fear of further religious persecution, he obscured them in quatrains, rhymed four-line verses, to blunt any possible repercussions for his daring to claim knowledge of the future. Managed to avoid further charges of heresy, despite the belief in some quarters he was a servant of Satan, while his channelings drew the attention of the continent’s elite, including Catherine de’ Medici (Indira Gandhi), the queen of France, who made him counselor and royal physician-in-ordinary to the French court in 1556. Correctly predicted the death of the king, Henri II (Robert Downey, Jr.) via a lance through the eye, as well as the fates of her children with four all becoming short-lived kings, although many of his future forebodings were deliberately so vague as to be open to virtually any kind of interpretation, which would allow him to retain his reputation as medieval seer of the ages for centuries to come. Many of his contemporary astrologers found his work sloppy, but that wouldn’t stop his future enthusiasts from claiming his ability to see virtually everything that happened over the next several hundred years, from Napoleon to Hitler to the collapse of the World Trade Center. Suffered from gout and arthritis, which ultimately became dropsy, the collection of an unusual amount of fluids beneath his skin, which led to a heart condition. Predicted his own death to his secretary the night before he died of heart failure, and was found the next morning on the floor next to his bed. Much of his work would later be seen as variations on Biblical prophecy, as well as ancient and contemporary texts, with some sections lifted directly off them. Inner: Genuine healing adept, with just enough paranoia for his own self-preservation. Showed some remarkable instances of correctly predicting place names in his numbered quatrains as well as rough dates, so as to give validity to his vaguer claims. May have used high dosages of nutmeg, which served as a hallucination source for him, while his accuracy rate is far higher than mere coincidence would suggest. Looking beyond the vail lifetime lifetime of making himself a channel for the ages by using both the stars and ancient texts to make him the archetype of the seer for centuries to come, for the horde of enthusiasts who followed in his awakened wake. Malachi (fl. 5th cent BZ) - Hebrew prophet. Outer: His name means “messenger,” in Hebrew, and probably was a pseudonym. The last of the 12 minor prophets of the Old Testament. Nothing is known of his identity, so that he is a product of total conjecture. May have been from the tribe of Levi, and probably wrote in the post-exile period during the fifth century BZ, after the rebuilding of the Temple of Solomon. Through his words, he served as a scold for the lax behavior of the returned Israelites, in particular their priests, who had ceased caring about giving God his faithful due. Railed against divorce, as well as the faithlessness of his fellow Jerusalemites, despite the judgment earlier rendered on them, when they lost both their sacred central temple and the land long promised them. Went on to promise that those who were faithful would be rewarded, while those who were not would be punished in the coming endtime, after the prophet Elijah returned to usher in the final Day of Judgment. His book would serve as a summing up of earlier themes highlighted in the Old Testament, which would make it an appropriate concluding chapter to the admonitory words of all his preceding prophets. It would also be a favorite source point for the writers of the New Testament, with its counterpointing themes of judgment and a coming day of reckoning. Along with Zechariah (Yann Martell) and Haggai (Reinhold Niebuhr) he is credited with preserving Scripture in post-exile times, with the later rabbinic belief that when this trio died, so did a good deal of the Holy Spirit depart from Israel. Inner: Scold and exhorter, bringing dark messages for those who strayed from the path of Mosaic Law. Messianic lifetime of preparing his people for what he felt was imminent endtimes, as a prelude for his own ongoing self-appointed role of constantly looking forwards and backwards to try to ascertain what the eternal present had in store for everyone.


Storyline: The best-selling bibliophile switches his metier to thrillers, and manages to capture the imagination of his time, in his ongoing flirtation with orthodoxy and imagination, and fascination with the factual and the fanciful.

Dan Brown (Daniel Gerhard Brown) (1953) - American writer. Outer: Mother was an organist who specialized in sacred music and played in the local church. Father was a well-known math teacher, who wrote math textbooks, won a Presidential Medal, and spent most of his career at Phillips Exeter Academy. Oldest of 3 children, with a much younger sister and brother. Grew up in a musical household filled with books, and was raised at the school. The family enjoyed puzzles, and exchanged coded messages, giving him a lifelong fascination with cryptology. After the 9th grade, he went to Philips, and then Amherst College where he majored in Spanish and English, and spent one semester in Seville, Spain. 5'9". Initially pursued a musical career, forming his own record company called Dalliance, but his various self-produced works failed to find a market. Undaunted, in 1991, he moved to Hollywood in order to be a singer-songwriter, and taught classes at Beverly Hills Prep, while also touring with various singing groups. Joined the National Academy of Songwriters, where he met Blythe Newton, the Academy’s Director of Artistic Development. She helped him with his singing career, while the two became an item. A dozen years his senior, she moved back to his home town in New Hampshire with him in 1993, and he became an English teacher at his alma mater, while also teaching Spanish classes at a nearby elementary to 8th grade school. In 1994, he released a CD called “Angels and Demons,” which would later be the title of one of his novels. Quit teaching two years later to become a fulltime novelist, and he and Newton were married in 1997. His wife, who would pursue painting and art his/story, would prove pivotal in his far more successful writing career, particularly in the realm of research and promotion. She also co-wrote some of his earlier works, which appeared under pen names. After three thrillers, which explored the National Security Agency, the Illuminati, and the National Reconnoissance Office, but could not find their audience, he hit the jackpot in 2003, with The Da Vinci Code, a potboiler thriller based on an unoriginal idea that the prophet Jesus did not die on the cross but married his disciple Mary Magdalene and fathered a genealogical line through her. The book demonized the secretive Catholic organization, Opus Dei as the book’s villains, while creating a sure-shot best-selling formula for other writers, of a present-day murder and a huge his/story-shaking secret behind it. The Da Vinci Code would become a publishing phenomenon, selling over 60 million copies world-wide and creating a mini-industry, with video games, cookbooks, and walking tours, as well as a much-criticized but equally successful film in 2006, which muted some of his heretical ideas. The same would prove true of its Hollywood follow-up, Angels and Demons, which had been written earlier. Following the “Code’s” huge success, his previous works were reissued to equally popular effect, while winning the eternal enmity of the Church and Catholic conservatives. Sued by the trinity of writers of “Holy Blood, Holy Grail,” which was based on a similar premise of a betrothed Jesus and Mary Magdalene, and published in 1982, he managed to avoid charges of plagiarism, while anagramming the name of two of his accusers, Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh into his primary antagonist, Leigh Teabing. Stopped giving interviews because of the controversy surrounding his works, and produced “The Lost Symbol,” another potboiler exploring another controversial group, the Freemasons, which predictability set best-seller records on its release in 2009, without diminishing or augmenting his reputation with his equal legion of critics and fans. Inner: Longtime fascination with codes and puzzles, as well as secret organizations. Added to his oeuvre in 2017 with the predictable “Origin” as part of his Da Vinci series. Has a net worth of $175 million. Innate ability to touch on thematics that abrade many imaginations, both positively and negatively, while fashioning a modernistic theology geared towards stripping Catholicism of its true mystery and replacing it with the mystery of conventional thrillers. Coded lifetime of exploring secret agendas and turning them into gold, while keeping his own beliefs and larger agenda, largely and deliberately hidden. G. K. Chesterton (Gilbert Keith Chesterton) (1874-1936) - English writer and critic. Outer: Eldest son of the head of a well-known firm of auctioneers and estate agents. Mother was of French and Scottish descent. Along with his brother Cecil, he had a lifelong fascination with the occult, beginning with Ouija boards, although it eventually transmuted into a conservative identification with orthodox Catholicism, after converting in his late 40s. At St. Paul’s School, he started the junior debating club, and also published a magazine, “The Debater,” which impressed his teachers with his precocity. Went to the Slade School of Art with the thought in mind of becoming an illustrator, while also taking literature classes at University College London. 6’4”, and eventually close to 300 pounds. Did not get a degree from either institution. Instead he went to work for an English publisher for 6 years, beginning in 1896, while also doing freelance art and literary criticism. From the late 1890s, he had a longtime close association with writer Hilaire Belloc (Andrew Sullivan), a fellow Catholic apologist, with whom he was often linked, after being dubbed Chesterbelloc by his close friend, George Bernard Shaw. His first published volume, The Wild Knight, at century’s turn, was financed by his father, and won wild acclaim. In 1901, he married Frances Blogg, the daughter of a London diamond merchant and an Anglo-Catholic, which would profoundly affect his own religious thinking. The following year, he began a weekly opinion column in the Daily News, before switching to do the same for The Illustrated London News in 1905, and continuing to do for the next three decades. Published Orthodoxy in 1908, a plea for Christianity as the answer for humanity, which he characterized as a “slovenly autobiography.” Following its publication, he and his wife moved to Beaconsfield for the rest of their lives. Wound up in a house with a huge livingroom, where they could entertain and show plays in the toy theater he built. Spent a great deal of time painting and cutting out figures and scenery for the theater, which focused on children’s entertainment. Hugely disappointed they had none of their own, they surrounded themselves with nieces and nephews and neighbor’s kids. In 1911, he began his Father Brown stories, which followed the exploits of an amateur detective and would be his most popular work. Almost died during WW I, from overwork and overeating, and wound up in a coma, before recovering, while losing his brother in the conflict. Extremely prolific, he also eventually had his own paper, G.K.’s Weekly, which occupied most of his creative life his final decade and a half. A flamboyant character, he favored large flapping hats, capes, swordsticks and cigars. A critic of both capitalism and socialism, he, along with Belloc, were also accused of anti-Semitism, for their negativity towards Jewish banking families, as well as his continual anti-Jewish tirades in his stories. Felt that Jewish culture was inherently separatist, and firmly believed in a Jewish homeland as a solution to their desire to be apart. Although he never lived to see WW II, he found the Nazis an appalling crew. Gave radio talks his last years to further his own celebrity, while his health suffered because of all the extra weight he carried. Died at home of kidney and heart failure, and his wife followed him two years later. Published over 100 volumes, although was usually careless around facts and references, while always avoiding solemnity. Inner: Witty and charmingly contentious, with a great love of both words and arguments, particularly with his longtime friend and fellow wit, Shaw. Let his wife make all the practical decisions, allowing him to remain in the opulent recesses of his mind, unbothered by the mundane world. Extremely absented-minded and good-natured, yet rocklike in his beliefs and ideas. Great love of freedom and human equality, and an unabashed liberal, with a fervent hatred of imperialism. Prolific lifetime of giving voice to his richly imaginative spirituality, as well as the prejudices of his time, through an uninhibited pen and an equally uncurbed character. Charles Nodier (1780-1844) - French writer. Outer: Father was an eminent lawyer, politician and magistrate. His mother had been a servant who married his sire after the birth of their first child. At the outbreak of the French Revolution, his sire was made mayor of Besancon, and then police chief, carrying out the Jacobin program, without particularly following their principles. Strongly influenced by the Rousseauesque views of his progenitor, he was active in Revolutionary circles as a teenager, as a Jacobin, while showing himself to be a bibliophile. Tutored privately, he had a lifelong interest in entomology. Went to Paris and published an article on the subject, which was highly praised. Saved a woman’s life who was to be executed, and was sent to Strasbourg where he lived with the Jacobin governor of Alsace, who was also a noted Greek scholar. Studied English and German, and became a librarian in his hometown. Though under suspicion for helping those deemed politically incorrect, he was never charged with anything, and managed to make it through the Revolutionary period with his head intact, while pursuing his interests in insects, philology, politics and literature. Returned to Paris, only to wind up in prison for a month for a satiric set of verses against Napoleon in 1803. After being banned from the City of Light, he returned to his native town of Besancon, once again, and lived under police supervision, while marrying Desiree Charve in 1808. One daughter from the union. Lived an unsettled life, while continuing his writing. Became the secretary and amanuensis of an English baron, before taking on the posts of librarian and newspaper director, editing a multilingual journal in the Illyrian provinces. Returned to Paris, and after Napoleon’s fall in 1815, he pursued his literary career fulltime, while showing himself to be a royalist, with a hint of his former republicanism. Made librarian of the Arsenal, he began instituting Sunday evening gatherings at his house for the culterati of Paris, with his daughter serving as hostess of sorts for the dances and games played there. Able to collect and study rare books, he became the spoke on the wheel of the young literary Romantics, gathering them round him, and influencing both their tastes and subject matter. A gifted storyteller, as well as a prolific writer, he flitted between both the fanciful and the factual with equal ease. Best remembered for his shorter works, which covered a wide range of topics. in addition to his/stories and analysis, he explored fairy tales and gothic vampire stories. Also wrote several novels. Elected to the French Academy in 1833, and a decade later he was made a member of the Legion d’Honneur. Inner: Highly social and intellectual, a natural teacher with a great love of learning. Librarian extraordinaire lifetime of ardent intellectual activity as well as serving as a literate beacon for the cerebral life of his nation. Nahum (fl. 8th cent. BZ) - Hebrew prophet. Outer: His name meant “Comforted” in Hebrew. Credited with being the 7th of the 12 minor prophets of the Old Testament. Nothing is known of his life, save that he lived in Jerusalem and was native of a nearby town. In one of the shortest books of the Bible, he correctly prophesied the destruction of the city of Nineveh. The city was the capital of the Assyrian empire, which was a flourishing citadel at the time of his writing, but fell the following century, the victim of fire, subsequently changing the face of Asia Minor and opening the way for the Persian Empire. Largely unoriginal, he repeated the imprecations of Isaiah, with a promise of peace and a new era to come, proving to be one of the more optimistic of the prophets, in seeing that Yahweh’s promises with Judah would be fulfilled, while the cruelty of their conquerors, the Assyrians, would be avenged. Inner: Optimistic prophet lifetime of being right on the money with his singular prediction, and earning an orthodox religious immortality for it, before becoming an extremely popular storyteller in the modern era, while retaining his strongly spiritual sensibilities, and his deep Christian sense of order.


Storyline: The transatlantic transplant often underscores his contra stances, with alien statuses, but remains totally unafraid of challenging the various precepts of his times, no matter where or when he finds himself.

Andrew Sullivan (1963) - English/American writer, blogger and critic. Outer: Of Irish descent. Born a Roman Catholic, he would continue to identify strongly with his religion of birth, despite being an open homophile, contra its traditional teachings. Raised in a small town in southern England. One brother and sister. Matriculated at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was president of the Oxford Union during his second year, before receiving a BA in Modern His/Story. During his summers, he was an actor with the National Youth Theater. Crossed the ocean in 1984, after winning a Harkness Fellowship to Harvard’s JFK School of Government, and received both an MA and a Ph.D. from Harvard Univ. in Public Administration and Political Science, respectively, while teaching moral and political theory there for several semesters, and ultimately winning the Government Department Prize for his Ph.D. thesis. Interned during his summers as an editorial writer for London’s Daily Telegraph, freelanced for a number of American publications, and also continued with his amateur acting at Harvard. Settled in the U.S. as a Washingtonian, but was prevented from citizenship because of his HIV-positive status, despite being in good health ever since he tested positive in 1993. A supporter of same-sex marriage since the early 1980s, he went to work for the New Republic and in 1991, became the magazine’s editor, holding that position for 5 years, with circulation and advertising revenues both escalating considerably under his aegis. A libertarian conservative, he also expanded the traditionally political journal into cultural realms, attracting controversy as well as outraging longtime readership, particularly with his choice of contributors and subject matter. A piece linking genetic inheritance and lower IQs almost caused a mutiny among the magazine’s writers, many of whom felt impelled to refute its premise. While his pro-homophile stances belied his conservatism in other arenas, it also made him a central theoretician and rhetorician in the gay rights struggles of the 1990s. Fell into a power struggle with the New Republic’s literary editor, and quit in a cloud of dustups, to bring his pen-for-hire over to the New York Times Magazine, and to continue to explore the political through the personal, only to eventually run afoul of their editors as well. Became an essayist for Time magazine afterwards, and in 2007, switched his scrivening to The Atlantic Monthly. The author of several books arguing for same-sex acceptance on libertarian grounds, as well as the penman behind what is considered the number one political blog in the country, “The Daily Dish,” which he began in 2000, as one of the first mainstream journalists to entangle himself in the web of the internet. In addition, he maintains a ubiquitous presence on the college circuit, as well as on the national news media, as a contrarian conservative, employing his unique perspective as a transplanted transatlantican with an askew view of both the Republican Party and the Catholic Church, with the latter unwilling to reconcile itself with the modern world in its rejection of the power of the feminine and alternative sexuality, and the former having been hijacked by fanatics and fundamentalists. In 2001, he was nailed for anonymously advertising for unsafe sex on a web site, although defended his actions as honestly, if somewhat hypocritically done, contra his previous stance against reckless promiscuity. Despite enthusiastically supporting the U.S.’s invasion of Iraq in 2003, and being a hawk on terrorism, he refused to support George Bush in the 2004 election because of the administration’s mishandling of the post-Iraq war, although remains an advocate of other Republicans. In the summer of 2007, he married his longtime partner, Aaron Tone. In a further iconoclastic move, he put forth that he had broken with the right at 2009’s end, because of its homophobia, linkage of church’n’state, disrespect for governmental institutions and disdain for political debate. In 2011, he transferred his blog to the internet’s “Daily Beast,” while also becoming a contributor to Newsweek. Four years later he announced the end of his blog because of daily stress involved and health issues, so that he could read and write at a far more leisurely and deeper pace. Decided to return to public pronouncements in 2016 with New York magazine, to see how he fits in or out with a much changed world. Inner: Strong identification with both his religiosity and his sexuality. Hypercritical of those he deems hypocritical, be they left, right or center, despite some questionable stances of his own. Overtly opinionated lifetime of adding his articulate and sometimes inconsistent voice to the electronic and print chatter of his times, as a conservative contrarian, and a stranger in the strangest of lands, apocalyptic America of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Hilaire Belloc (Joseph Hilaire Pierre Rene Belloc) (1870-1953) - French/English writer. Outer: Mother was an English writer, and the daughter of a revolutionary, as well as the granddaughter of the English chemist Joseph Priestley (Tim Leary). Although she converted from Unitarianism to Catholicism, she maintained her radical political beliefs. Father was a French attorney. One older sister, Marie Belloc Lowndes became a writer, as well. The family’s fortune was wiped out in a stock market crash, and when he was 2, his father died. Immediately afterwards, he returned to England with his mother to grow up. An ardent Catholic his entire life, he was always quite ready and eager to defend his faith, whenever he felt attacked for it. Educated at John Henry Newman’s (William F. Buckley) Oratory School. Afterwards, he returned to France to do his obligatory military service in the artillery, then finished his schooling at Baliol College, Oxford, graduating with first class honors, and also serving as President of the Oxford Union, the school’s debating society. Deeply disappointed he didn’t receive a fellowship, he felt he had been passed over because of his Catholicism. Went on a lecture tour of the U.S. afterwards, where he met his future wife, Elodie Hogan, whom he married in 1894, 5 children from the union. Strongly built, he was an enthusiastic walker, traversing the U.S., Great Britain and Europe by foot. In the late 1890s, he met fellow contrarian G. K. Chesterton (Dan Brown), and the two would become intellectually entwined the rest of their lives, so much so, they would be dubbed Chesterbelloc by their witty cohort, and Fellow Fabian, George Bernard Shaw. Published two volumes of poetry before the turn of the century, and then in 1902, became a naturalized British citizen. Joined the Fabian Society, and via fellow members Shaw and H. G. Wells, he was able to get journalistic work, through which he eventually became literary editor of the Morning Post. In 1906, he purchased a house on 5 acres in Sussex, and came to identify deeply with the area, writing several books and numerous articles on it. Soon after moving, he was elected MP as a Liberal, although was deeply disappointed by his government’s lack of gumption. After winning his seat a second time in 1910, he lost in the general election at the end of the annum, which finished off his public political life, and he returned to journalism, writing for several periodicals over the next couple of years, while drifting over to the right in his beliefs. Became editor of a political weekly, The Eye-Witness, which attracted several fellow contrarians, and also penned a book critical of the country’s political establishment and its various corruptions. Lost a son, Peter, from whom he was estranged, in the Great War, as well as many friends. Became military correspondent for a new periodical, Land and Water, while enthusiastically supporting England’s WW I effort. The journal allowed him to give voice to his anti-Teutonic prejudices, which were zealously received by his countrymen. Following the war, he published a work on Roman Catholicism, vigorously defending his faith. Despite having a large following, he was often in financial difficulties, while his many disappointments gave an acid tone to his writings. Along with Chesterton, he was accused of a strong anti-Semitic bias, particularly in the financial realm, which emerged through his self-appointed role as a Catholic apologist, and for which, he refused to apologize. Nevertheless, he condemned the anti-Semitism of the Nazis, as well as the wild anti-Semitic rants of others. Spent the later part of his working life on biographies, in which he was highly critical of the post-medieval world, much preferring ancient to modern systems, be they economic or philosophic. Loved boats and boating, and won numerous races as a member of a French sailing team. Suffered a stroke in 1942, and lingered on for 11 years, before finally passing away from its aftereffects. Wrote on a vast array of subjects, from religion to travel to his/story to literature to politics to economics, with his “cautionary tales,” or morality poems, as his best-known works. Inner: Provocative, witty, and often overbearing, with a larger-than-life sense of self. A far better disseminator of information, than one who listened to the opinions of others, although a keen and incisive debater. Faith-based lifetime of allowing his wide range of convictions uninhibited display, as one of the most prolific purveyors of ideals, ideas and idiosyncratic thinking of his era. Jean-Louis Laya (1761-1833) - French poet, dramatist and critic. Outer: Began his playwriting career with a collaborative effort in 1785, which was never performed. Took on the intense issues of the day in his work, which was overtly political, using tragic drama to underline his ideas. Disturbed by the growing anti-clerical sentiments of the burgeoning French Revolution, he wrote a tragedy in verse pleading for religious toleration at its outset. Boldly attacked the Convention when the king was on trial in 1793 with his best-known work, the comedy,The Friend of the Laws, which criticized the top Jacobins as ruthless hypocrites, and was produced two and a half weeks before Louis XVI’s (Lex Barker) regicide. Although it was subsequently prohibited by the leaders of the Revolutionary Paris Commune, the city’s moderates demanded it be presented, which it was, only to be closed down permanently through the re-establishment of dramatic censorship. Fled Paris and went into hiding afterwards for the remainder of the Terror. With the fall of the Jacobins, the play was revived to modest success, since its merits lay in its politics, rather than its artistry. Continued as a dramatist, then worked as a journalist, literary critic and after 1813, a professor of literary his/story and poetry at the Sorbonne, enjoying considerable prestige after the Restoration of the Bourbon monarchy. Four years later, he was admitted to the French Academy, while serving as the royal censor for the theaters until his death, a royal irony since he had been the earlier victim of censorship himself. Less the dramatist for the ages than for his times, he used verse and dramaturgy as instruments of contemporary ideas, rather than exploring universal themes through the artistry of universal insight. Inner: Bold and principled, with ideas as his main intellectual coin. Quill-in-hand lifetime of exploring his fictive imagination, in his ongoing self-appointed role as commentator and critic of his times, as well as self-anointed role as ongoing moral scold of the powerful and plebian. Micah (fl. 8th cent BZ) - Hebrew prophet. Outer: His name roughly translated as “He who is like Yahweh,” the Hebrew name of the Israeli God. Probably grew up in a God-fearing household, and received a good education, although his social status is in question. May have been poor and overly sensitive to the abuses of the rich, or may have been from the upper strata and disdainful of the practices of his peers. His Biblical book is the only source for his life, which is scantily recorded. It also may be the product of several writers. From a small town, he eventually hied to Jerusalem, which was where his ministry took place, in the latter half of the 8th century BZ, and the beginning of the 7th. He was the author of the 6th book of the 12 minor prophets, which begins in fine thundering fashion by announcing the impending destruction of Samaria for its sins, and then reproves the kingdom of Judah for similar transgressions, before optimistically predicting an era of Messianic peace when Israel will conquer its enemies. Inner: Witty and derivative, with a love of wordplay, and a deep-seated moral sense of righteousness. Strong proponent of social justice as well as the dictates of the divine as the ultimate pathway to security and happiness. Prophetic lifetime of giving voice to both gloom and glory, as a genuine lover of the divine, and the potential of his peoples to see and seek their salvation under His all-abiding guidance.



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