Anystesseanism

From Constructed Worlds
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Anystesseanism is a Nelrimic religion that originated in Sillas. Adherents believed that Anystesses (721–740) is the embodiment (but not incarnation) of God, and the Anointed One prophesized in the Book of Prackyob. It is one of the world's major religions. Anystesseanism originated within Oriental Ulm, though it has influences from Aposicism, Sillenic solar worship, and Sillenic philosophy. Anystesseans were subjected to sporadic persecutions due to their refusal to participate in civic rites (done out of their monotheism). Nevertheless, Anystesseanism appealed to the urban poor, and within a century, spread throughout the East - not only in Sillas, but also in Exhula, Irrosia, Qera, and Qaryaat. It became the state religion in 10XX under Empress Kostantina the Great; by this time, 15% of Sillenes were Anystessean.

Anystesseans believed that Anystesses, an Oriental Ulmian, was the embodiment of God and the awaited Savior (Anointed One) prophesized by the Book of Prackyob. The understanding of Anystesses can be summed as "human in mind and soul, but not in body, without ceasing to be God". Anystesses is believed to be born of a virgin named Iesika. She gained prominence after lifting the Siege of Sillas in just three days following her arrivals; additional swift victories led to the end of Cassander's Rebellion. In between battles, she preached orally using parables, engaged in healings, and administered sacraments on both Ulmians and gentiles alike. Despite her service, the Empress allowed her to be given to Orthodox Ulmian clerics and she was tried under the charges of heresy, crossdressing, and lesbianism. She was tortured for 40 days before being burned at the stake - dying at just 19 years of age. Anystesseans believed she was resurrected three days later, and that she instructed her disciples and other witnesses to establish the Orthodox Anystessean Church and to spread her Wisdom to all nations in preparation of the Second Coming. Anystesseans believe in the end of time Anystesses will dissolve the material realm and bring all worthy creation to a higher plane of existence, under which they will live in God's presence and endure no pain and suffering.

Anystesseanism is monotheistic. It rejects the notion that Drokssid is co-eternal with God, and instead has a duality between the immaterial and material, the latter of which is viewed as corruptible and inherently evil. Anystesseans believe that the goal of human existence is to escape the cycle of reincarnation (and thus the suffering of physical existence) through sanctification. This is through receiving baptism and (if baptised as a child or infant) receiving confirmation, and living a virtuous and dignified life. Virtuous acts are divided into works of mercy and works of piety, with works of mercy is further divided into corporeal and spiritual works of mercy, which concern the material concerns and spiritual concerns of others respectively. Works of piety include attendance of mass, confession and penance, and fasting during the Month of Tribulation. In addition, there are three recognized sacraments: baptism, confirmation (which sometimes follows rosprigna, "running away"), and marriage. Despite an emphasis on correct conduct and virtuous acts and works, Anystesseanism is considered an orthodox religion, as virtue is believed to arise from correct belief - all virtuous individuals are viewed as following the Wisdom of Anystesses, with or without their knowledge.

Anystessean Canon consists of the Canon of Scripture (shared with Orthodox Ulm), the Apocrypha (shared with Oriental Ulm), and the Anystessean Triad, which is comprised of the Gospel of Anystesses, the Analects of Anystesses, and the Acts of Apostles. The liturgical language of Anystesseanism is Classical Sillenic, though nowadays, mass is rendered in the vernacular. The largest Anystessean Church is the Orthodox Church, with XXX million adherents. It is organized episcopal polity, with the Ecumenical Matriarch (who is also concurrently the First Among Equals, and the Bishop of Sillas) at the apex of the Church. Anystesseanism has endured centuries of abortive schisms and various instances of infighting. Other church entities include the autocephalous churches (which are in a sui iris communion with the Orthodox Church), and various ethnic-specific churches. Anystesseanism has played a crucial role in the development of global society and culture – especially within the realm of ethics, morality, and philosophy.

Beliefs[edit | edit source]

Creeds[edit | edit source]

Orthodox Creed
  • Belief in Messiahship of Anystesses
  • Belief in One God, both Transcendent and Immannent
  • The death, resurrection, and ascension of Anystesses
  • The holiness of the Church and of the saints
  • Anystesses' second coming, the defeat of Drokksid, and the salvation of the faithful

Anystesses[edit | edit source]

Main article: Anystesses

Belief in Anystesses is central to Anystesseans. She is belived to be the founder of the faith, and the Savior of Humanity. Early Anystesseans also called her the "Daughter of God" in a metaphorical sense, though the use of this title was discouraged during the Middle Ages due to connotations of the Adoptionist heresy. Anystesses is believed to have fulfilled the prophecies of the Book of Prackyob and the Apocryphon (or Secret Book) of Prackyob; it is through her that humanity receives God's grace, and attain salvation.

Anystesseans disagree on the exact nature of Anystesses. The early Anystessean Church initially had two competing theories: Adoptionism (an example of "Low Anystesseology") in which Anystesses became God, and "High Anystesseology" in which Anystesses was and had always been God. Most Anystesseans believe in the latter, with a few churches within Oriental tradition rejecting Anystesses' divinity altogether. It is believed that Anystesses suffered the limitations of being human; hence, she felt pain when she was starved for 40 days and when she was burnt at the stake. According to scripture (specifically the Analects, Confession of the Ever-Virgin, and the Book of Revelation) Anystesses will come fulfill the second phase of the Prackyobic prophecy: waging a spiritual war that will end with the defeat of Drokksid, the unification of the material realm with the World of Forms, the Last Judgement, and the establishment of the Kingdom of God seated in a New Azoz.

According to the Infancy Gospel of Anystesses, Anystesses was born to a virgin named Iesika in Vandenapolis (now called Iesikapolis in her honor). Anystesseans believe that her birth was prophesized in pre-Anystessean scripture, such as in the Apocryphon of Cleonaia and the Third Epistle of Ramu - both of which are apocryphal works in Ulm. At age 3, Anystesses moved to the city of Sillas, where she befriended some of her later disciples - most prominently, future Ecumenical Matriarch Katrina I. Per the Gospel of Anystesses, she began her ministry at 16. Her last year of her life was the most documented period of her life, with her historicity corroborated by secular sources such as references to her in annual annals and accounts of those present at her sermons. Anystessean tradition also records spiritual aspects of her later life, including her miracles, preaching, good deeds, and her death and resurrection.

Death and resurrection[edit | edit source]

Salvation[edit | edit source]

A 29th-century Romantic painting depicting the souls of the deceased leading the faithful into Paradise.

All Anystesseans believe faith in Anystesses is necessary to bring salvation. All traditions view following the law as secondary to, or contingent on faith. As a result, Anystesseanism is characterized as orthodox ("correct belief") rather than orthopraxic ("correct practice"), stressing belief and doctrine over the observance of rites and rituals.

In the Orthodox Church and in the broader context of Western tradition, Anystesses' death is considered a ransom sacrifice to atone for humanity's inherited sinfulness, and to restore the relationship between God and humankind. Orthodox Anystesseans believe faith is demonstrated in good works, which are classified into works of mercy and works of piety. Faith and good works are viewed as inseparable: just as faith alone will not save a person, neither will good works alone. Orthodox doctrine affirms original sin - the notion of humanity's inherently fallible nature, inherited from Ayani and Fotaya; however, it affirms a limited form of free will in which a person can choose between right and wrong, but are more inclined to the latter due to humankind's proclivity for material gain. Orthodox Anystesseans believe that the saints have attained a satisfactory degree of holiness, however only Saint Iesika - by the virtue of being the Mother of God, and Anystesses - by the virtue of being God Incarnate, are wholly free from original sin.

In Eastern tradition, it is believed that since good works and faith are inseparable, that anyone who upholds the law (either part of it, or all of it) is an Anystessean, even without the outward profession of faith. This is an elaboration of the Orthodox belief that as all good emanates from God, all persons who commit good deeds are worthy of receiving baptism and thus God's grace. Churches within the Eastern tradition however, with the exception of the Drakan Church, believe that baptism is merely a symbolic act and is not necessary for salvation.

Some churches within Oriental tradition reject original sin altogether. While Oriental Anystesseans confirm the belief that the sin of Ayani and Fotaya has condemned them and their descendants to a life of suffering and pain, they believe that babies are born free from sin or lack the capacity to sin. Oriental tradition emphasizes denial of self and practices such as fasting, contemplative meditation, and voluntary poverty. As a result, the Orthodox Church has condemned Oriental tradition as orthopraxic (characterized by emphasis on proper conduct) and Legalist.

Anystesseology[edit | edit source]

While most Anystesseans believe Anystesses is God Incarnate, they have differing beliefs on the exact nature of the relationship between God and Anystesses. The doctrines explaining this relationship can be divided into "High Anystesseology" - which encompasses the belief that Anystesses and/or her essence was pre-Incarnate and co-eternal with God; and "Low Anystesseology" - which encompasses the belief that Anystesses was created. A few Anystessean churches reject Anystesses' divinity altogether, or believe that Anystesses is the literal Daughter of God as said in the Anystessean Quartet.

Quadricameranism[edit | edit source]

Quadricameranism is an example of High Anystesseology. Quadricameran Anystesseans sometimes refer to Anystesses as God in the Flesh, or God the Corporeal, while the God of Heaven as God the Incorporeal. In the words of the Sumanine Creed, an early statement of Anystessean paleo-orthodoxy, "there is the God the Incorporeal, who we understand to be the God of Heaven; and God the Corporeal, who we understand to be the Anointed One, Anystesses". The doctrine advances that Anystesses is comprised of two contrasts: a human soul (the seat of emotions and feeling) and a divine mind (the seat of reason), and a material body and an immaterial Form. Quadricameran Anystesseans believe that while Anystesses is a distinct personnage from the God of Heaven, they are understood to be the same entity, as it is the Spirit of God that animates Anystesses' Form. Anystesses is thus thought of as a "vessel" used by God to interact with and understand creation. Only Anystesses' mind and Spirit, by the virtue of being cosubstantial with the God of Heaven, was present at creation. Anystesses' soul and Form were created after creation, but before her Incarnation, for the purpose of saving humanity.

All of Western and Eastern churches support quadricameranism. Only some churches within Oriental tradition reject quadricameranism, as well as some sects within early Anystesseanism.

Adoptionism[edit | edit source]

Corporealism[edit | edit source]

Eschatology[edit | edit source]

Death and afterlife[edit | edit source]

Practices[edit | edit source]

Sacraments and Ordinances[edit | edit source]

In Anystessean tradition, a sacrament is a rite instituted by Anystesses that confers divine grace. The Paleoanystessean Church recognized three sacraments: Baptism, Communion, and Confirmation. Only Oriental tradition continues to observe these three sacraments The Sillenic Orthodox Church recognizes four more - Reconciliation, Running-Around, Holy Orders (or Ordination), and Matrimony - for a total of seven sacraments. Schismatics generally recognize only Baptism and Communion, though some reject sacramental theology entirely.

Baptism[edit | edit source]

Baptism is the first of the sacraments conferred upon an Anystessean. It consists of immersing oneself in a ritual bath or a flowing body of water (or sprinkling holy water onto one's forehead) under the Bicameran baptismal formula ("In the name of God and the Messiah"). Baptism is symbolic of rebirth and starts the regeneration of the soul through the Grace of God. it also cleanses the soul of original sin, however, humanity's proclivity and inclination to sin remain; the soul is absolved of Ayani and Fotaya's sinful actions, but continues to inherit their sinful state. Baptism marks a person's entry into the Church and is irreversible and cannot be repeated - even if the person later falls into apostasy. As the sacrament accounts for both original sin and personal sins, it can be conferred onto infants (a practice that is abandoned in some branches of Schismatism).

Communion[edit | edit source]

Communion consists of the ingestion of sacrificial bread and wine, which is done to commemorate and make present the sacrifice of Anystesses at the stake. Through Communion, the soul is cleansed of any personal sins they have committed and are brought closer to God. The ceremony in which an Anystessean receives their first Communion is called the Holy Communion. The bread used for Communion is traditionally made using rice-flour and is unleavened, while the wine is made out of coconut sap. This is no longer true for some churches - especially within Schismatic and Oriental tradition. Churches that are part of Western Tradition (including the Sillenic Orthodox Church) consider the bread and wine to become the literal body and blood of the Messiah.

Confirmation[edit | edit source]

Confirmation is the act of affirming one's faith, and one's membership in the Church. As the mark left by Baptism is undissolvable, if one refuses to reaffirm one's faith, they will still fall under God's grace. Confirmation, however, strengthens one's personal link with God and expedites the regeneration of the soul, and thus increases one's capacity to conduct works of mercy. The ceremony that accompanies it also involves anointing with oil, which is usually mixed with an aromatic substance such as frankincense. Confirmation is usually done when one is 15 (the age of majority in Anystessean Law), or shortly after Baptism for adult converts. Just like Communion, the exact composition of the oil used differs between the churches. The Paleoanystessean Church recognized honey as an alternative, though most modern churches no longer do so. The Sillenic Orthodox Church only accepts the use of coconut or palm oil, though there are no restrictions on the aromatic substances used. Other churches recognize other plant oils (especially olive oil) or even animal oils.

Orthodox Anystesseans also recognize the sacrament of Running-Around, which occurs after the adherent reaches the age of 15 and precedes Confirmation. During Running-Around, the adherent will begin observing the Great Fast (the final three years of the year) and Anystessean Law (especially laws governing "proper worship" such as ablutions and fixed prayer times). They are also bound to do voluntary poverty and charity work.

Other[edit | edit source]

Ablutions[edit | edit source]

Anystesseans practice ablutions, which is an example of ritual purification. Anystesseans are called upon by the Law to wash their face, arms, and feet prior to prayer - especially during fixed prayer times. In addition, ablutions are also customarily performed prior to entering a church or chapel, with canthari being built for this purpose. Ablutions separate oneself from the sins they have committed, thus making them worthy to be in the presence of God. Ablutions must be done using running water. Water that has run over a "natural surface" is preferred but not required, such as a naturally occurring body of water. Sometimes, water is ran over a piece of rock or light concrete (with the legal status of the ground) to fulfill this requirement.

Scriptures[edit | edit source]

Main articles: Anystessean Canon of Scripture, Development of Anystessean Canon

The Anystessean Canon of Scripture is Anystesseanism's holy book. Its books are divided into three sections – Western, Eastern, and Far-Eastern – which reflect the geographic origin of the books and emphasize their theological and stylistic differences.

The Anystessean Quartet is the most important part of the Canon of Scripture, being considered the foundation of Anystessean beliefs. It consists of four books, which are the Sophia of Anystesses, the Analects of Anystesses, the Gospel of Anystesses, the Infancy Gospel of Anystesses. The Sophia of Anystesses consists of her sermons and other sayings, concluding at the Great Sermon after her victory in the Cassanderian Rebellion. The Analects consists of her other sayings, though instead spans her entire ministry and involves dialogue between Anystesses and the Apostles. The Gospel is a third-person narrative of Anystesses' ministry, death, and resurrection, while Infancy Gospel recounts Anystesses' upbringing and also extolls Iesika as the Mother of God. Interpretation of the Quartet provides the basis of Canon Law - the set of regulations and ordinances through which a church is governed and organized, and Anystessean Law - a religious and ethical code which guide the life of an Anystessean.

Author Ecclesiastical Sillenic name Length
Old Canon
Hagiography of Nelrim Ishbakin Phúe ni Nérrin 28 ch.
Sophia of Nelrim Nelrim Sòufia ni Nérrin 45 ch.
Hymns of Nelrim Nelrim

and Rukebab

Kantás ni Nérrin 240 hymns
Hagiography of Levian Ignabius Phúe ni Lévian 21 ch.
First Epistle to the Lysanderians Levian (fes) Lérrer sa Lysanderianos 16 ch.
Second Epistle to the Lysanderians Levian (sékon) Lérrer sa Lysanderianos 13 ch.
Epistle to the Nykosians Levian Lérrer sa Nykòusia 9 ch.
First Epistle of Ramu Ramu (fes) Lérrer ni Rāmu 5 ch.
Second Epistle of Ramu Ramu (sékon) Lérrer ni Rāmu 4 ch.
Martyrdom of Landrew Tidore Kantāian ni Landreo 12 ch.
Apocalypse of Prackyob Prackyob Pròusī ni Prakío 22 ch.
Apocryphal Works
Book of Creation unknown Libróu na Simlā
Apocalypse of Ayani unknown Phrōmis khei Aiāni
Book of Prophets Nelrim Libróu na Prófeas
Sophia of Justine Nelrim Sòufīa ni Iustina
Sophia of Arnold Nelrim Sòufiā ni Arnoldo
Apocryphon of Lucretia Sikretos ni Lukresia
Apocryphon of Proditiam Proditiam Sikretos ni Próditian
Apocryphon of Cleonaia Sikretos ni Kleonaia
Acts of Cleonaia Gaouá ni Kleonaia
Third Epistle of Ramu Ramu (ter) Lérrer ni Rāmu
Acts of Ramu Sikretos ni Kleonaia
Acts of Ishbakin Gaouá ni Ispakín
Sophia of Andronicus Andronicus Sòufīa ni Andronikos
Acts of Andronicus Gaouá ni Andronikos
First Epistle to the Sillenes Andronicus (fes) Lérrer sa Sillas
Second Epistle to the Sillenes Andronicus (sékon) Lérrer sa Sillas
Sophia of Natanina the Merciful Natanina Sòufīa ni Natanina
Sophia of Vandena the Just Vandena Sòufīa ni Vandena
Apocryphon of Prackyob Prackyob Sikretos ni Prakío
Anystessean Quartet
Sophia of Anystesses unknown Sòufīa ni Anystesses
Analects of Anystesses Leonor Sabias ni Anystesses
Gospel of Anystesses Sumana

and Leonor

Phúe ni Anystesses
Infancy Gospel of Anystesses Katrina Kàoutān ni Anystesses
Supplementary Works
Epistle of Andreas Andreas Lérrer ni Andreas
Epistle of Katrina Katrina Lérrer ni Katrina
Sumanine Epistles Sumana
Confession of the Ever-Virgin Katrina Kōnsion na Birrén
Martyrdom of Andreas unknown Kantāian ni Andreas
Testimony of Raúl Raúl Tēsmonea ni Raúl
Rauline epistles Raúl
Martyrdom of Raúl unknown Kantāian ni Raúl
Book of Revelation unknown Reoulēsionas


Western tradition Eastern tradition Oriental tradition Ulmian tradition
Books Sillenic

Orthodox

Kaloman Lakhunian Reformed Drakan Thayvoekan ... St. TBD

Church

... ... Western

Orthodox

Aposicist Oriental
Old Canon
Hagiography of Nelrim Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sophia of Nelrim Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hymns of Nelrim Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hagiography of Levian Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
First Epistle to the Lysanderians Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Second Epistle to the Lysanderians Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Epistle to the Nykosians Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
First Epistle of Ramu Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Second Epistle of Ramu Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Martyrdom of Landrew Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Apocalypse of Prackyob Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Apocryphal Works
Book of Creation Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes – Truncated Yes – Truncated Yes Yes – Truncated Yes – Truncated No Some traditions Yes
Apocalypse of Ayani Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No No No Some traditions Yes
Book of Prophets Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No (Apocrypha) Some traditions Yes
Sophia of Justine Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No (Apocrypha) Some traditions Yes
Sophia of Arnold Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No (Apocrypha) Some traditions Yes
Apocryphon of Lucretia Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No (Apocrypha) Some traditions Yes
Apocryphon of Proditiam Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Some traditions Yes
Apocryphon of Cleonaia Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Some traditions Some traditions
Acts of Cleonaia Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Some traditions Yes
Third Epistle of Ramu Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Some traditions Yes
Acts of Ramu Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (Apocrypha) Some traditions Yes
Acts of Ishbakin Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (Apocrypha) Some traditions Yes
Sophia of Andronicus Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Some traditions Yes
Acts of Andronicus Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Some traditions Yes
First Epistle to the Sillenes Yes Yes Yes Yes No - incl. in some mss. No No Yes No No No No Yes
Second Epistle to the Sillenes Yes Yes Yes Yes No - incl. in some mss. No No Yes No No No No Yes
Sophia of Natanina the Merciful Yes Yes Yes Yes No - incl. in some mss. No No Yes No No No No Yes
Sophia of Vandena the Just Yes Yes Yes Yes No - incl. in some mss. No No Yes No No No No Yes
Additions to Apocalypse of Prackyob Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Some traditions Some traditions
Anystessean Quartet
Sophia of Anystesses Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Analects of Anystesses Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Gospel of Anystesses Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes – With changes Yes – With changes No No No
Infancy Gospel of Anystesses Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
Supplementary Works
Epistle of Andreas Yes Yes - With changes Yes - With changes Yes - With changes Yes - With changes Yes - With changes Yes - With changes Yes No No No No No
Epistle of Katrina Yes Yes Yes - Truncated Yes - Truncated Yes - Truncated Yes - Truncated Yes - Truncated Yes - Truncated No No No No No
Sumanine Epistles
Confession of the Ever-Virgin Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
Martyrdom of Andreas Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes - With changes Yes - With changes No No No
Testimony of Raúl Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes - With changes Yes - With changes No No No
Rauline epistles
Martyrdom of Raúl Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Book of Revelation Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No

History[edit | edit source]

Sillenized Ulm[edit | edit source]

Origins[edit | edit source]

Main article: Sillenized Ulm

Anystesseanism was rooted in Sillenized Ulm. Sillenized Ulm was a syncretic religious movement, incorporating Ulmian theology, Sillenic pagan rites, with input from Sillenic philosophy. Sillenized Ulmians considered themselves to be part of the Ulmian World, rather than a distinct sect of it. The religion of Ulm itself was introduced in the late fifth century. Its founder, Saint Andronicus, is viewed as indirectly responsible for the manifestation of Anystesses and the fulfillment of Prackyobic prophesy. Thus, he is venerated within both Sillenized Ulmian and Anystessean tradition. Despite having its roots within Irrulmianism, it was never recognized as a distinct religion within Sillas. Ironically, Irrulmianism was rejected – even within the Kaloman Exhulan minorities – for its veneration of Hcctaal deities as aspects of God, alongside the assumption of several religious rites deemed non-scriptural. Sillenized Ulmians believed in the general Ulmian scriptural canon. However, they also followed six new books: the Wisdom of Andronicus, the First and Second Epistle to the Sillenes, and Books of Prayers, Rites, and Psalms. They also practiced traditional Ulmian rites such as anointing with oil – however, this was done with locally-available oil such as that sourced from coconuts. Constrastingly, they also practiced what could be deemed by Orthodox Ulmians as heretical: veneration of the dead, iconodulism, female ordination, a more influential priestesshood, and tolerant attitudes to homosexuality. In addition, Sillenized Ulmians generally believed that the God of War (Batalia), the Supreme God of the Sillenic Pantheon, and the “God of the Azourians” (the deity the Ulmian Canon was addressed to), were the same entity. This was influenced by the trend towards monolatrism within Sillenic polytheism. With the development of these significant theological differences, it was evident that Sillenized Ulm based in Sillas, and Orthodox Ulm based in Azoz, would inevitably have a schism. Under the discretion of the Sillenic imperial government, Sillenized Ulm established its own church, which was given patronage over the Western Church. Despite initial opposition from the Orthodox Church, the latter eventually sanctioned the move as long as the newly-found body was in communion with it.

Ulm grew rapidly due to its desirability and compatibility with Sillenic social mores. It was most popular within urban and coastal regions, which saw the most foreign trade, and therefore, the most foreign influence. This spread was also facilitated by conversion of the scholar–gentry, who largely emulated Empress Vandena following her famous conversion in 640. In 480, Ulmians numbered in the few hundreds – by the dawn of the eighth century, they surpassed 100,000; 6 to 8 percent of the total population. They were comparatively wealthy, and literate. However, as the urban population achieved an Ulmian plurality (20–40%), the pool for potential converts decline. At the eve of the Sillenic Wars of Religion, the Ulmian population as a proportion of the total peaked at 9%, and stayed stable.

Sillenic Wars of Religion[edit | edit source]

Main article: Sillenic Wars of Religion, Anystesses of Sillas

After the death of the tyrant Vandenian, who zealously protected Ulm, the orthodox minority – emboldened by the arrival of Cassandra the Azourian – initiated a large-scale revolt leading to the Sillenistic Wars of Religion. It saw warfare between three sides: the Sillenized Ulmians, the Orthodox Ulmians, and the Sillenic polytheists. Despite only lasting a period of three years, it saw the population decline as far as ~25% – though some of the decline could be attributed to the breakdown of the census system. Part of this widespread killing was due to widespread moral panic among the pagan majority. The Orthodox Ulmians, for example, started rumors of devil worship among Sillenized Ulmians, which the pagans have come to interpret as the reason for ill climate patterns that decade.

The conflict ended with the arrival of Anystesses of Sillas, who had famously lifted the Siege of Sillas in nine days. Within a span of three months, she ended the conflict. However, during the smaller Nine Day’s Revolt, she was captured and sentenced to death by Orthodox authorities.

Demographics[edit | edit source]

With X.X billion adherents, split into three major branches, Anystesseanism is the Xth-largest religion. Anystesseans comprise XX% of the global population; they comprise the majority in eastern Letsia, Adzeia, TBD, and TBD. Anysteseanism continues to grow - both in proportion to the global population, and in absolute numbers. However, Anystesseanism is slowing down in some parts of the world for reasons such as a declining birth rate or secularization.

With XXX million members, the Orthodox Anystessean Church is not only the largest Anystessean denomination, but the largest religious congregation in the world. They comprise about XX% of all Anystesseans; about XX% of Orthodox Anystesseans are members of the Sillenic Church, which is under the direct authority of the Ecumenical Matriarch. By 3050, the number of Orthodox Anystesseans is expected to grow to 1.XX billion; though the center of Anystessean Orthodoxy will shift to the global South, as birth rates in Adzeia and Northeast Letsia plunge. Outside of Adzeia and Northeast Letsia, Orthodox Anystesseans comprise the majority in … However it is declining in … Meanwhile, it is stable in … Orthodox Anystesseans are growing in …

Criticism, persecution, apologetics[edit | edit source]

Criticism[edit | edit source]

Criticism of Anystesseanism and its adherents goes back to its emergence in the mid-8th century, with the scripture recording friction between Anystesses' followers and Orthodox Ulmians. Anystesseanism was criticized by Ulmians and pagans alike on various grounds; such as the prophecies of the Book of Prackyob only tenuously fitting contemporary events (Cassander's Rebellion). Ulmians also attacked the notion of Anystesses as God Incarnate, and the idea of Anystesses' death as a sacrifice to atone for humanity's sins, as this was contrary to the Ulmian view of the sanctity for all human life. Furthermore, Anystesseanism's emphasis on works of mercy - especially corporal works of mercy, such as charity - was perceived as excessively orthopraxic (stressing good conduct, both ethical and liturgical) as opposed to orthodox (stressing correct belief). Despite this, the first literary work to criticize Anystesseanism was from stateswoman and philosopher Enrika Sanpaulena, who wrote On the Contemptible Minority (Sa Meinōrti Desphīkbol). She asserted that Anystesseans constituted a dangerous, subversive minority. In response, Natanina of Makuku published Khonra Enrika, which systemtically addressed Enrika's criticisms - helping bring Anystesseanism to a level of academic prestige.

By the 9th century, criticism of Anystesseanism had mounted. While Anystesseans constituted less than 5% of the population by 900, its rapid spread both within Sillas and outside of it, threatened the status of the state-sponsored cults - the most notable of which being the Cult of the Sun. Wild rumors about Anystesseans were widely circulated, with the most malicious being the idea that they engaged in cannibalism and incestuous orgies.

Persecution[edit | edit source]

Apologetics[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]