Religion in the world of Girl Genius seems to have been left deliberately ambiguous.
Evidence of Judeo-Christian religious belief Edit
- In TPU there is a machine or tank labeled "Do not open until Xmas", and the Mittelmind let most of his research children out of their containment tanks for Christmas. One must have a Christ in order to celebrate a mass (holy day) for him/her.
- The first name of Moloch von Zinzer was . The Bible exists, and from the discussion at least one story is similar to the Bible we know.
- Hezekiah Donowitz appears wearing a kippah or yarmulke (skullcap), which suggests that Judaism is currently being practiced as a religion. Another unnamed TPU student what appears to be Hasidic-style dress, including rekel (long dark coat), shtreimel or spodik (fur-trimmed hat), and payot (sidelocks). Hebrew also exists as a language, as the is labeled as כשר (Kosher).
- One of the old Heterodynes was called a blasphemer, implying a belief in someone to blaspheme against.
- The Secret Blueprints and Othar's journal refer to a railroad-building order, the Corbettite Monks, whose works seem to be supported by Imperial sponsorship and fudge sales. Context implies they are at least analagous to a religious order.
- Many common expletives invoke a higher power of some ilk: "Good Lord!", "Mon dieu". Professor Diaz uses a prayerful oath one might almost imagine as coming from a Corbettite monastery, "Madre de Diodes".
- Dame Aedith, vampire hunter, wears a high collar with a Greek Cross, or crux immissa quadrata, inside a circle imprinted on it. This, combined with the notion of vampire hunters bedecking themselves in holy symbols, suggests the existence of Christianity.
Seven Popes Edit
Whatever form religion is in in Europa, it is closely analogous to Christianity to the point of using the same terminology (at least as translated from lingua europa), albeit with a mad science twist.
At one point in Volume 8, Gil claims that "all seven Popes ordered" his father's manuscript burned. Several interpretations are possible: The bishop of Rome never achieved (or lost) dominance over other bishops; the Western Schism was never resolved; or several additional "popes" were recognized in a compromise with the Protestants. It's also possible that all seven popes are mere products of mad science or sparks gone wild. It may be interesting to note that the word "pontiff", which is now used as a synonym for the Roman pope, seems originally (in Latin, pontifex) to indicate a bridge builder, i.e., a literal civil engineer, although this role, specifically in pre-Christian Roman religion, apparently always had a religious significance as well.
Additionally, there was a period in the fourteenth century known as the Babylonian Captivity during which seven popes (note the number, albeit sequentially) resided in France as semi-puppets of the King of France (also the Holy Roman Emperor). After the papacy was returned to Rome, there were several anti-popes set up in France in opposition. This situation was caused by infighting among the families that controlled the election of the pope, and by conflicts between bishops in Italy (seat of Catholicism) and France (the seat of the Holy Roman Emperor). There was also a space of six years during this tumult where a third Pope was seated in Pisa.
In short, conflict led to instability and a multiplicity of popes. Europa with the addition of sparks can only be more unstable than Europe was.
Churches in Mechanicsburg Edit
Mechanicsburg has at least one church building, the Red Cathedral, as well as a chapel inside Castle Heterodyne. If the term "cathedral" is being used properly, it would imply that a Bishop has his seat there.  On the other hand, the only ritual known to be performed in the Red Cathedral does not appear (from where the building is mentioned) closely related to Christian liturgies. But in fact, we do not even know if the Red Cathedral is the same cathedral building through which Carson von Mekkhan on the way to the Heterodyne family crypt. In addition, a Cathedral in Mechanicsburg is mentioned in the story behind the sandwich.
Geisterdamen EditThe Geisterdamen are a cult that worship the Other as their goddess, as well as Agatha Heterodyne as the "Holy Child".
They have an orthodox hierarchy with priestesses of at least two different levels, culminating in their high priestess, Lady Vrin (now apparently deceased).
The religious symbol used by the Geisterdamen depicts a (stylized) madonna and child.
Religion elsewhere Edit
- In some unspecified part of Africa, people apparently take holy vows .
- In the Heterodyne stories, Barry Heterodyne always ends up with whomever the exotic High Priestess happens to be.
- Bangladesh DuPree wears a skull on her forehead where a bindi goes, although whether it is religious or merely decorative is not known.
- In his twitter, Othar describes himself as a Deist.
- Skifandrians, including Zeetha, worship the goddess Ashtara.
Pagan references Edit
Although they have been commonplace in the West at least since the Renaissance, and are therefore invisible to the modern reader, there are a number of references to Pagan mythologies, such as the name of the Knights of Jove — Jove (also called Jovis pater, or "Jupiter") is the king of the Roman pantheon and the god responsible for thunder and lightning.
A number of characters have first names that would be considered unusual in our world. Thus, we have Gilgamesh Wulfenbach, and Moloch von Zinzer for example, to say nothing of many members of the Heterodyne family. It could even be significant that the first name of Sanaa Wilhelm is the name of the city given by H. P. Lovecraft as the home town of Abdul al-Hazred, the author of the Necronomicon.
- Category:Greek Mythology
- Category:Roman Mythology
- Category:Levantine Mythology
- Category:Norse Mythology
- Category:Slavonic Mythology
- Rogue Clanks discussion: 'All Seven Popes...'
- ↑ It may be more precisely accurate to say that everything has been left deliberately ambiguous and that religion, because it deals with theories of "everything", especially so.
- ↑ Girl Genius 101 caught up with the Advanced Class, but this comic ended up dated Christmas. . The "dates" for volume 1 on the web site were assigned by back-dating the older pages once
- ↑ " "
- ↑ In particular, the other (Eastern) patriarchs. Even in our world the patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is referred to as "Pope". Note that it is from Latin "papa" or "father" (from Greek πάπας, pápas, "papa"),or Papa in Italian; that is, a familiar term for "father". Since Christian leaders at least as early as St. Paul have understood themselves as participating in (God's) fatherhood, the term "pope" does not necessarily have to denote a unique position in the universal Church.
- ↑ Cathedra literally means "chair" but in reference to churches is used synecdochically as in English "seat of government" or "county seat" to refer to the church building belonging to the bishop.