The Aluminat and the Modern Mind

While the primary faith in the world of Victoriana shares many similarities with Christianity, it is important to note there are a few distinct differences. These might not be immediately apparent, given the similarities, but they have a powerful impact on the way your characters understand the world and their faith. The most fundamental differences is the absence of a single God. The Aluminat faithful still go to church and offer prayers but, in Victoriana, they offer prayer to a 'divine principle of Holy Order' and not a specific deity. This lack of a single Godhead naturally has an impact on the Aluminat Bible in comparison to real life. However, the concept of God still remains in European society, and Order itself is occasionally personified as a father figure. The faithful of the Aluminat may consider Order their God, but as an anthropomorphic personification rather than a divinity. Many of those uneducated in the subtleties of Aluminat doctrine fail to see the difference.

The faithful of Victoriana pray in a slightly different way than do the faithful in our world. People do not pray for what they want or need; they pray for the fortitude to obey the teachings of the Church. All the teachings of the church are based on Justas' words, so Aluminat texts do not reference the 'word of God'; they are the written teachings of Justas. Justas was, after all, born from a miracle granted to Mary by the Angel Michael himself and, although mortal, is revered as divine — his words carry the same weight as if they had been passed down from a God.

The teachings of Justas are also rather different to those of Christianity. Many of the basic details about being good to your fellow man are intact. However, the basis of Aluminat teachings (and the route to heaven) is not the love of God but the obedience to the faith. The greatest virtue of the Aluminat is to obey the laws set down by Justas. While one of the laws is to live well and support your fellow man, the command and not the spirit of the words is what matters. Given the emphasis on holy law, Aluminat tend to be far more opinionated about what is and isn't right. Some obscure traditions that made sense at the time of Justas are still treated as sacrosanct in Victoriana. The laws of Justas do not have a time limit and they are certainly not seen as suggestions or 'guidelines'.