McKinley: Re:religion(in outlaws)

From: cameron s. lynn <>
Date: Sat Mar 28 1998 - 16:03:49 PST

a long time ago someone asked about the role of [religious] faith in
robin's books. of course robin's books do involve faith in
self/friends/etc, but as far as religious faith, even _outlaws_, which with
its "historical" context might be expected to give evidence of the
christian fervor of the time, doesn't give more than an ambivalent support
of Christianity. Robin Hood doesn't seem to believe in a Christian god,
even if he may believe in some other power, as he says on p. 72 of my book,
"We will not steal from that final judge of our lives and hearts that some
call God...The Norman church is full of the corruption of man, but the idea
of God is not yet corrupt, and I will not poison our small efforts by
showing any lack of respect." So even if he initially seems to believe in
some sort of god, if not necessarily the Christian one, in the end he seems
to see God as a hopeful but probably unreal idea.
        Even Friar Tuck seems pretty loose in his religious ways(he would probably
not be so sympathetic a character were he otherwise), and Little John
doesn't believe the Christian sacrament of marriage necessary to legitimize
lovers. Still, with all this lack of religious/Christian zeal that would
have been appropriate to the times, it's hard to imagine why the outlaws
then get so worked up over the Crusades, which were of course for a
religious cause. No offense to Robin's book, but the ending has always
bothered me, since, in going off to the Crusades, the outlaws either prove
themselves hypocrites in fighting for a Christian cause in which they do
not believe, or, if they do uphold that Christian cause, they are just as
wrong in fighting for the sake of religious intolerance. Either way, the
Crusades were not a worthy cause.


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Received on Sun Mar 29 00:04:19 1998

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