1632 / Ring of Fire series by Eric Flint

I enjoyed reading 1632, the alternate history novel where a modern small town in West Virginia is transported back to the Thirty Years War in 17th Century Germany. I wasn’t so entranced that I want to read every book in the series, but I’m hoping someone else was… I have a question that wasn’t really addressed in the first book.

Flint mentions the Catholic priest in town worrying to his buddy the Methodist minister about the problems they may face in a world of religious war. But the two aren’t really part of the story after that.

The heirarchy would probably not be favorable toward late 20th Century practices of this parish, from the liturgy to the custom of fraternizing with heretics. This would be a very difficult matter for the priest, much more than for the minister: the priest owes his allegiance to the bishop and the pope, who are likely to have a knee-jerk reaction against the lunacy they hear about from this town. Yet the priest would also be very reluctant to revert to 17th Century practices whole hog, because such a traumatic change would probably alienate a good part of his parish.

Does Flint ever revisit this issue in his later books?

Short answer, yes.

IMO, you can avoid any of the follow-up novels co-written by Virginia DeMarce–I find them WAY too soap-operaish and the plot D-R-A-G-S…:sleep:

Is there a particular book, or is it spread through several? I’m sure I’ll enjoy reading these books, but with as many other good books that I want to read, I don’t want to devote too much time to this one series.

If the topic is in more than one book, can you give a synopsis of how this particular issue played out? I don’t mind spoilers.

1632 & several of his other books are available free from Baen Books.

In 1633 I think Grantville’s Catholic Priest ends up sending Pope Urban a copy of the Vatican II counsilar documents (latin probably) and a paperback copy of the CCC, accompanied by a “this is what I signed on for” message. Well, the good Father actually gets promoted to Cardinal

The Priest has to rename his parish because in 1632, St. Vincent de Paul; is still among the living. He conducts Latin Tridentine services which he ruefully admit, pleases the older Grantville “up-timers” a great deal.

The Galileo Affair deals with that issue in a very balanced fashion, bringing out a lot of the issues secularists ignore or are just plain ignorant about.

The Canon Law deals with a Spanish Army sacking Rome and the flight of the Pope to the United States of Europe

In all, the series is very respectful of everyone’s religious beliefs while quite rightly condemning persecution and hatred on these beliefs.

Interesting. Thanks for that capsulized review.

It’s hard to believe that[LIST=1]
*]a small-town parish would have a copy of the Latin conciliar documents
*]the 1990s American English CCC paperback would be fully understood even by the few English speakers at the Vatican, but I guess they could comprehend most of it
*]Rome would so easily accept the Vatican II approach, parts of which would probably be seen as wildly heretical by much of the heirarchy in the 17th Century.
[/LIST]I may have to read 1633 just to see how he deals with this.

You better believe 17th Century scholars at the Vatican would have been/be able to understand the English in the CCC. In regards to the Latin Vat II documents, I’ve seen a good many Priest’s offices that were jammed full of books. Also, Father Tom’s elevation I think is seen as “conditional” on Rome digesting the documetns submitted–a digesting we can expect will take decades

It would be interesting to see how Fr. Tom fares as a cardinal. From his 20th Century perspective, he can see clearly a lot of problems in the Church, or the Church’s approach to the world, that were not so apparent to clerics at the time. Similarly, he can see many opportunities to embrace or encourage new forms or trends in spirituality and practice not appreciated at the time (St Therese comes to mind). But no change comes without opposition, and the enemies of the pope’s current “golden boy” would grow as he promoted more of these controversial ideas.

This makes me want to read the books. I’ve seen them but never actually tried to read them.

Neal Stephenson’s “Baroque Cycle” is an interesting treatment of the early modern period, but he’s pretty clueless about Christianity, especially Catholicism. It sounds as if these books are better in that regard.

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