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Old 2004-09-11, 00:33   Link #1
UssoKK
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Fullmetal and Religion? (Possible Spoilers)

Before I start, let me just say that my current "eating" situation means I'm very frustratingly behind 'the rest of the pack' - that is, while a lot of people are discussing episodes 47, 48, etc, I just got finished with 43 so if you need to point out something that happened in those episodes, go right ahead ^__^ Just put spoilers, of course.

So I noticed in that the 4th "I Will" ending, there are and Ed, Al and some birdies in a Catholic looking cathedral
See, stained glass windows?

Anywaays, so what religious elements do you think are in Hagaren? Do they add to the plot, just there for nice background, or are they part of the story's setting? Will God/the Creator come up in the final episodes? In the beginning of the series, 1st Season, we got a lot of "God doesn't want us to transmutate it's a sin, etc, etc., and we all know that
Ishbal and Lior's religion somewhat resembles Islam, although Ishbal had a goddess Ishbala, right? And if the Elrics' home country ( Amestris?) resembles Europe, then they would have a Christian relegion?

So, is this eye-candy or something more? Are there underlying themes of Buddhism and Hinduism too?
So, does it make a good discussion topic?

P.S Just for background, I have a habit to pick out Christian elements in anime, maybe because I'm a Christianmyself.
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Old 2004-09-11, 00:54   Link #2
duckroll
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Being Catholic myself, I too have seen alot of religious tipbits littered in FMA, especially lately. Here's an idea I have on what religion REALLY has to do with FMA, it's a spoiler for all episodes up to now, so I'm going to cover it.

Spoiler:


Just some food for thought.

Personally I don't think it's a bad thing at all, I'm not really offended by what FMA is doing, but then it's good to have an open mind about what's entertainment and what's reality. ^_^
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Old 2004-09-11, 01:09   Link #3
dreamless
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hmmm... I can see that the church looks quite obviously like a christian church, and there are references to "a calendar based on anicent religion which no longer exist" which is actually the christian based calendar we use now...

But I'm quite doubting the theory about the gate of hell and devil stuff... I think Dante and Hohenheim are clearly shown working for the christian-like religion rather than against it... of course you may say that the witch hunt is actually done by the devil manipulating the christians or something I guess... but anyway alchemy can be used and is used for good cause in the anime. And I still think the gate is more like a gate to the land of dead and rebirth, as hinted by the mark of uroboros, which represents the cycle of life and death, the cycle of reincarnation. and there are the crying souls inside. and that babies can open the gate most easily.

There was also a sign of the tree of life/sephirotic tree in episode 2 I think...
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Old 2004-09-11, 02:41   Link #4
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to add something.. the 7 Deadly Sins were mentioned and I think it's based on the bible too...
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Old 2004-09-11, 04:51   Link #5
Anthias
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Duckroll, I don't mean to be rude, but I think you missed the bus on that one.

I know this probably isn't too spoilerfull, but just in case...
Spoiler:
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Old 2004-09-11, 05:50   Link #6
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There are a lot of anime shows that throw in religious symbolism because the Japanese find it fascinating, especially Catholicism which is seen to have a high degree of mysticism. I don't think FMA's gothic imagery is indicative of a wider religious theme in general but the Elrics quest for atonement for their past sins is a religious mainstay. However it is played out here as a human tragedy resulting from arrogance, rather than a theological fable about encroaching on the work of God.

On the Humonculus at the graveyard, I've always seen this as symbolic of them protecting their graves/remains from Ed
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Old 2004-09-11, 09:11   Link #7
dreamless
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agree with what Anthias said, it'd be a big anti-climax if it's revealed that Dante is controlled by the devil... or something like a big war of God vs. Devil... blaming all the evil things done to the devil is a bit far too religious, this is a Japanese animation, not a christian sermon but then I guess it'll look quite funny if the final battle is Ed and Al vs. the devil, lol that thought itself is quite fun

Dante working in a church as her base of operation should mean she has quite some connections to the ancient dead monotheist religion though.
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Old 2004-09-11, 10:35   Link #8
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Hmmm sorry, maybe I should have made myself clearer. I got kinda carried away writing all that. I'm not saying that FMA is going to turn out like that at all, I was just analysing the FMA worldview/plot with in a christian perspective. ^^;;

I think the show will leave much of this stuff in the air for viewers to interpretate for themselves because as Anthias said the show is very much about humans and what they do. I would be pissed too if the ending reveals that Dante was controlled by the devil.

I was just implying that FMA was a world where occult elements have overtaken the world and it still worked out, in a weird way. In fact, if anyone was controlled by the devil, it's everyone that worked on episode 48. What a disappointment. >_<
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Old 2004-09-11, 15:13   Link #9
Anthias
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duckroll
I was just analysing the FMA worldview/plot with in a christian perspective. ^^;;
etc
Gotcha Sorry to missread I see what you were getting at. There is a lot of christian symbolism in anime normally, and FMA will allways give us things to ponder - its a nice rich and meaty world and I hope they leave a lot for viewers to ponder, so threads like this might continue a few more months hehe....
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Old 2004-09-11, 22:40   Link #10
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im catholic...the 7 deadly sins are what us catholics are to avoid..
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Old 2004-09-12, 21:39   Link #11
Teh Dave
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That and condoms.

It's still to be established whether or not Fma is Post-Apocalyptic or Alternate-Timeline. Personally, I'm hoping it's not the former.
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Old 2004-09-13, 21:15   Link #12
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Originally Posted by Teh Dave
That and condoms.
Bwahahahaaha, that's hilarious. I am Catholic, but I'm not an uptight prick, so I'm not offended.

Anyways, how could the entire planet be so vastly changed so quickly if it is post-apocalyptic?
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Old 2006-12-31, 02:46   Link #13
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i think the cross has something to do with sun worship like the sun gliting off glass or something in like that in ep 1 2
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Old 2007-01-15, 22:14   Link #14
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Since this old thread has been dug out of its grave, might as well post my thought...

I personally perceive FMA (anime) as an alternative timeline to our own history, a big "what if..." story, with a bit of anti-religion theme to it.

The whole fma world is a big "what if..." scenario to our world.
What if the most dominated organized religions like christianity and islam were wiped out? How different would the world be?
The author showed ed and al really as agnostics/atheists, because of how rational and logical regarding the way they think and react to the world, assuming that in their world alchemy existed.

Religions were considered myths and superstition, as they are.
In the fma timeline, the whole part about the "religion of the ancient which no longer exists" is basically christianity/catholism.
Because of the downfall of the influence of organized religions, other things took their place. Alchemy to be exacted. In the fma world, science and technology seems to be more advanced by 100 years in comparison to our world at the same time (the end of the 1800s/beginning of the 1900). Some scientists have predicted the dark age and the hindrance caused by organized religions slowed the progress of science and technology by around 200 years or so. But it's just their opinions, even if they have good predictors and stats to support their claim.

But the author shows that its seems like human nature to cause conflicts with any possible reasons.
In our world, organized religions are the related to most conflicts and violence in our history:
slavery, holocaust, religious conflicts, crusade, etc.
But through FMA world, the author seems to be saying that human is what causing conflicts, we just need to find a reason to start a conflict.
On our world, it's organized religions. In the fma world, with organized religions removed, it's alchemy.
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Old 2007-02-21, 20:40   Link #15
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The symbol on the back of Ed's jacket is a Christian symbol. It's a cross with a snake on it. It symolizes a story of Moses when he turned the staff into the snake or something like that.
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Old 2007-06-06, 03:43   Link #16
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the 7 deadly sins are based off of the catholic religion. But you people sure do have a point about how fma has many christian references. btw you are right about the redemption symbol its supposed to represent the bronze serpent ,when the people in the bible were attacked by the snakes they had to look twards the serpent and they would be healed.Pretty neat stuff huh?
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Old 2007-06-06, 17:27   Link #17
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Originally Posted by wolfi_1412 View Post
to add something.. the 7 Deadly Sins were mentioned and I think it's based on the bible too...
No, actually that was an invention of the Catholic Church to try and instill values in people by making them easy to remember. Normal people can remember 5-9 things at a time (in sets) so the catholic church somehow knew this and so took the average (a strange coincidence, if you ask me), which is 7.

There are a lot of things in Catholic dogma referring to the number 7.
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Old 2007-06-10, 10:56   Link #18
_WinryXEdward_
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Spectacular's right. Well it could be because well just because graveyards have crosses or maybe it was a religion-thingie.
teehee, even though Hoenheim created the stone that ugly ;ady ( um forget her name ) used to transmuteherself into other bodies. Shes much evil. But still yeah religion could be it, mean scar was working in the name of god, and god ( religion ) cold be possible

Oh well lookie at me blabbering on and on
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Old 2007-07-29, 00:22   Link #19
TheSuitOfArmor
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well in the first episode edward outwardly acts as an athiest. another reason i love the show!
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Old 2007-07-30, 20:11   Link #20
Spectacular_Insanity
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The symbol on the back of Ed's jacket is a Christian symbol. It's a cross with a snake on it. It symolizes a story of Moses when he turned the staff into the snake or something like that.
That is called a caduceus. Wiki article is here.
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