Class Attitudes

Given that sorcery is mostly in the hands of the rich, or at least educated, there are certain class attitudes towards the Aluminat church. For the rich, it is often a nuisance. They cannot deny the existence of the Angels, but no one in charge likes to be told what they can and cannot do. Few ministers come from the high upper classes, and aristocrats seldom feel they need listen to their social inferiors. An Angel might have higher standing than a Queen, but his priests certainly do not. This has led many of the upper classes to decide for themselves on what is holy and correct, believing that their breeding will undoubtedly gift them with (at the very least) the same insight as a priest. Many priests who visit the nobility fi nd themselves lectured on the 'true' nature of Aluminat doctrine over tea.

The middle classes often see sorcery as a tool, which they can use. So, it makes sense for them to adhere to Aluminat doctrine if they wish to stand a hope of controlling it. In general, as long as it doesn't get in the way of business, they are happy. Unfortunately, it is the church that often calls for worker reform, making faith difficult for the factory owner if he wishes to claim all the profit he can. However, a reputation for Aluminat virtue is essential for any businessman who wants to rise in society. So the middle classes, as usual, must strike a balance between virtue and enterprise.

The poor are among the most dedicated of the Aluminat. They have little other than faith to protect them from the depredations of others, so it makes sense for them to pray as hard as they can. For both the middle and lower classes, the Church offers the potential to rise a little higher. The Church accepts all people and rewards them according to virtue, not birth. Although there are certain ceilings for those with lesser breeding, anyone can use the church to better themselves.

Finally, it is interesting to note there are fewer schisms in the Aluminat church than in modern-day Christianity. Aluminat doctrine accepts only one view of its teachings. Although most geographical regions have a localized set of rituals to define a specific cult (i.e. Lutheran in Germany, Anglican in England, Greek Orthodox, or Egyptian Coptic), there is no Protestant / Catholic schism in Western Europe - the language and wording of the prayers may be different, but the teachings are undeniably the same. However, fewer schisms are very different to none at all, and the time is coming when the sub-sects within the church will want to claim their own rights.

The primary reason for this sense of unity is the Thirty Years War. During that conflict, which spanned all of Europe, old heresies and sects were brutally swept away. Afterwards, with the 2nd Nicean council, one vision of faith reigned. Naturally, there is always an exception. In Europe, this is the Eastern Aluminat of Russia, where since the Thirty Years War, the country has reshaped its church to place its Czarina at the center of worship. This fact is used zealously to fuel enmity against that Empire, which seems intent on overthrowing as many of the laws of European civilization as it can.