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Dragonlance based on Mormonism?!?

Desdichado

Adventurer
Faraer said:
Dragonlance would also be problematic because it's *so* Tolkienesque (except based on Mormonism instead of Roman Catholicism). A good but inauthentic D&D film might be good commercially for D&D, but it would be damaging to the secondary worlds themselves.
Saw this in the D&D movie poll, and I didn't want to clutter that thread up with tangents, but what's this about? Other than the fact that one of the authors, Tracy Hickman is a Mormon, I've never seen any correllations between Dragonlance and Mormonism, even to the extent that Lord of the Rings weakly correllates to Catholicism.

And I should know; I'm a Mormon too...

Anyway, just wondering where this sentiment comes from; what specifically is the supposed Mormon basis for Dragonlance?
 

Faraer

Villager
Tolkien's Catholicism is absolutely fundamental to the metaphysics of Middle-earth. Tracy Hickman's Mormon beliefs aren't quite so central to Dragonlance, but he's been quite frank about them influencing Dragonlance's ethics and theology.
 

Mercule

Adventurer
There's a difference between being compatible with and being central to. I've seen LotR called a Christian allegory (I don't completely agree, but there are people capable of making the argument). Obviously, Narnia is. Dragonlance, though? Just not seeing it.
 

Faraer

Villager
Well, as I understand it the case with Dragonlance is somewhere between compatible with and central to. I'm rather taking Tracy's word here, as my knowledge of Krynn isn't profound. Reading Tolkien's letters, though, you see how his Christianity is a constant underpinning, motivator, and guide for how every part of Arda is constructed -- though he (and I) would reject the 'allegory' accusation.
 

Desdichado

Adventurer
Just reading through the Dragonlance books (and I've really only read the original trilogy) I don't see anything that I'd point to and say, "yup, there's a Mormon doctrine right there" or anything like that.

The ethics and theology seem reasonably generic midwest American to me.
 

BiggusGeekus

That's Latin for "cool"
Other than Tanis wanting Laurana and Kitiara, I really don't see it either.

Frankly, the only religious influence I ever saw in W-H works were the vague references to a higher power in the Death Gate cycle.
 

Benben

Villager
Joshua Dyal said:
Just reading through the Dragonlance books (and I've really only read the original trilogy) I don't see anything that I'd point to and say, "yup, there's a Mormon doctrine right there" or anything like that.

The ethics and theology seem reasonably generic midwest American to me.
I agree with Dragonlance not being an allegory of Latter Day Saint doctrine. I would say the Alivin Maker series by Orson Scott Card is a good example of Mormon allegory.

I know Hickman designed the arcane language in Dragonlance off of his knowledge of I believe Indonesian which he learned for his mission. I've also always found the Plainsfolk to have a "Lost Tribes of Israel" feel to them. That is probably due to them have a strange Native American/European feel to them. The Disks of Miskal remind me a little of the Golden Tablets, but are also hitting the "sacred scripture" mythological element common in many religions. So other than skills gained from his Mission the links seem to be pretty weak from what I remember of the series.
 

nikolai

Villager
Joshua Dyal said:
[Re: Dragonlance based on Mormonism?!?] Saw this in the D&D movie poll, and I didn't want to clutter that thread up with tangents, but what's this about? Other than the fact that one of the authors, Tracy Hickman is a Mormon, I've never seen any correllations between Dragonlance and Mormonism, even to the extent that Lord of the Rings weakly correllates to Catholicism.
This is the first I've heard of it. But I have no knowledge of Mormonism, so I doubt I'm capable of making a informed judgement.

There are various levels of this sort of thing. Narnia is Christian allegory. This is pretty easy to spot, as one thing in the story represents something else; Edmund=Judas. The reason Tolkien would reject this for Lord of the Rings is because there are none of these correspondences.

The next level down is to use the metaphysics of a religion, and is subtler. The Lord of the Rings is Catholic, and Earthsea is Taoist. Though you'd miss a lot of this without careful reading and a pretty clear understanding of various theologies (and their nuances).

Too be honest, I'm not sure that Dragonlance is deep enough for this. It's been a while since I read the books, but I don't think there's anything in there that is unique even to Christianity. I'm with Joshua that the ethics just seem very generic. It wouldn't surprise me if it was compatible; but I'm sure there's lots of stuff that would be compatible, without any intent on the part of the author to make it so.

I have heard that Battlestar Galactica is based on Mormonism. True, False, Nonsense?
 
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Desdichado

Adventurer
nikolai said:
I have heard that Battlestar Galactica is based on Mormonism. True, False, Nonsense?
Mostly nonsense, I'd say. They borrowed a few titles (High Council) but they are generic enough and not used in the same sense, so it's merely swiping an appropriate handy name. A better correllation would be between the denizens of the battlestars and the wanderings of the Children of Israel.
 

Dark Jezter

Villager
Joshua Dyal said:
Saw this in the D&D movie poll, and I didn't want to clutter that thread up with tangents, but what's this about? Other than the fact that one of the authors, Tracy Hickman is a Mormon, I've never seen any correllations between Dragonlance and Mormonism, even to the extent that Lord of the Rings weakly correllates to Catholicism.

And I should know; I'm a Mormon too...

Anyway, just wondering where this sentiment comes from; what specifically is the supposed Mormon basis for Dragonlance?
It's always good to meet a fellow Mormon online. :)

I, too, haven't really seen any major similarities between Mormonism and Dragonlance, but then again it has been a long time since I've read the original Weis & Hickman Dragonlance novels. I'll probably have to reread them someday.
 

Arani Korden

Villager
Benben said:
The Disks of Miskal remind me a little of the Golden Tablets, but are also hitting the "sacred scripture" mythological element common in many religions. So other than skills gained from his Mission the links seem to be pretty weak from what I remember of the series.
(I'm also LDS, but what I know about Dragonlance comes from reading the first two trilogies back in High School, so grains of salt for everyone!)

I agree that it's not a direct allegory, though you can see where the series has been informed by Hickman's faith. In addition to the Disks of Mishakal/Golden Plates thing (which leads to the restoration of an empowered priesthood), the fall of Istar reminds me of the Nephite cycle of pride and repentance.
 

Desdichado

Adventurer
Arani Korden said:
I agree that it's not a direct allegory, though you can see where the series has been informed by Hickman's faith. In addition to the Disks of Mishakal/Golden Plates thing (which leads to the restoration of an empowered priesthood), the fall of Istar reminds me of the Nephite cycle of pride and repentance.
Huh. Those never occured to me. Good call.

Y'know, I glanced over at your location, and at first I read that as Nauvoo. ;)
 

Faraer

Villager
Glen Larsen is certainly a Mormon, though opinions differ of how far Battlestar Galactica is based on that.
 

ShadowX

Villager
I think all the Weis and Hickman novels are influenced somewhat by Christianity and more specifically the LDS faith. I recall that the Rose of the Prophet trilogy had a strong Mormon correlation, and that Dragonlance was much weaker in this area, but my memory could be failing me.
 

Mythtify

Villager
I'm not LDS, though a lot of my friends are. I have also studied LDS theology, on of my favorite sources being "Mormon Doctrine" by McConkie.

Looking from the outside in, I would say that D&D in general has a mormon take on the afterlife. Specificly, eternal progression. The old D&D immortal set made me think of this.
 
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Krieg

Villager
Adam's Ark was sort of about the origins of mankind in the universe, taking some of the biblical stories and moving them off into space as if by the time we get them to Earth, they're really not about things that happened here, but things that might have happened someplace else in space. It was influenced by Von Däniken's Chariots of the Gods and some of those things... Adam's Ark helped bring a focus into what my concept had been. Ultimately, Battlestar Galactica is my original idea refined down to where I now have fixed on what my point of view is on how all humans throughout the galaxy probably evolved from some mother colony.
---Glen Larson 1978

I think it is safe to say that while BG isn't a direct retelling of the book of Mormon, it was strongly influenced by Larson's faith.
 

Desdichado

Adventurer
Actually, it's not at all a retelling of the Book of Mormon if it's a hodge podge of the Adam story from Genesis and Von Daniken's Chariots of the Gods type stuff.
 

Krieg

Villager
...and it was also influenced by Larson's religious beliefs as he himself has stated.
 
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Desdichado

Adventurer
Krieg said:
...and it was also influenced by Larson's religious beliefs as he himself has stated.
Yeah, but saying it is based on his religious beliefs and then drawing parallels to Adam and the lost tribes of Israel isn't saying much. I believe, after all, that the Bible is still the best-selling book in the world. And the Koran has those features as well.
 

Tetsubo

Villager
Mercule said:
There's a difference between being compatible with and being central to. I've seen LotR called a Christian allegory (I don't completely agree, but there are people capable of making the argument). Obviously, Narnia is. Dragonlance, though? Just not seeing it.
I read an article in a Pagan magazine once that described how Narnia helped to convert someone away from Christianity and into becoming a Wiccan. :)
 

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