The Utani Cruisian Church is the traditional Cruisian umbrella group under which churches of the Utani ethnic group belong.
Cruisanism is a monotheistic religion that originated in Cruisana, but has its roots in the Emethitic traditions of Eras.
Cruisanism came to the Utani people during the second Kingdoms period around 1400bp, brought by evangelists who visited the then-ten kingdoms with various levels of success. While openly rejected by the Kingdoms' authorities that were, at the time, deeply suspicious of eachother, the evangelists had some success with the people themselves.
The first Kingdom to declare itself Cruisian was the Savaj, whose King declared Cruisianism the official state religion. It has been claimed that the successes of the Savaj Kingdom in subduing its neighbours and forming the Utani Empire around 1000bp was the route to success for the religion in Utania. However, Cruisianism had long taken hold amongst the Utani people, and it was their open rebellion against their own Kings in favour of the Cruis-following Savaj Kingdom that caused the emergence of the united Utani Empire.
Doctrine of the Utani Cruisian tradition Edit
There are few known doctrinal distinctions between Utani Church doctrine and the rest of the Cruisian community, but there have been some definite emphasis shifts within the Utani church:
- Unity: The Utani Church rejects any notion of disunity, and...
- Authority: In Utani tradition, the Utani Emperor had ultimate authority over the Church, but this was almost entirely delegated to both the church hierarchy, and to a council of theologians who would manage doctrine. Owing to the Church's determination to prevent disunity, however, the reins of authority are very loosely held, and most individual churches may run independently to serve their community provided errancy does not creep into doctrine.
- Doctrinal rigidity: While successive Emperors have loosened the church hierarchy's control, the power of the doctrinal council has had its authority somewhat enhanced. Inerrancy is paramount, though the test for failure to tow-the-line is relatively relaxed, and minor transgressions are rarely considered. However, under the Empire, errant Church teachers were banished or executed.
- Spiritualism: Much of the Utani Church practises a far more mystical form of Cruisianity than traditional Cruisian churches. Prophecy and healing are considered natural continuations of ancient practises, though the doctrinal council has been vigilent in monitoring any attempts to speak on behalf of Cruis.
- Deity's name: None, but in Utani-dom his human incarnation is known as Krus.
- Language changes: There is an entire set of words in the Utani lexicon that begin with "Kroo-" that have very specific meanings.
- Additional scripts, Holy Books, liturgical or theological books: None. The history of the Church, the writings of various emminent persons are considered good reading, but have not been specifically designated as embued with holy properties.
- Saints: The Utani church does not recognise the concept of an elevated class of believers inherent in the Papaist branch of the Cruisian church.
- Salvation: No differences.
- Core Teachings: Self-sacrificing love, called Akape (ah-KAH-pay) in Utameyas.
- The Afterlife -- Heaven:
Cruis spoke of a rebuilding of creation without evil after the end-times. Utani tradition subscribes to this, that there will be an entirely new creation, with a new city at the centre that will contain the throne of Cruis to which all shall bow. There are writings that have attempted to expand on this concept, but these have no greater weight in Utani Church doctrine, and are considered philosophical musings to be read by the interested.
- The Afterlife -- Hell:
Hell is regarded as a real concept if not a real place. There are two streams of thought, that (a) it is the black void in which souls that have rejected Cruis reside for eternity, where they are kept from all that is good, that eminates from the light of Cruis; and (b) that it is a very real fire into which the souls of those who rejected Cruis are thrown and eventually consumed. All Futuronian concepts of eternal torture in a flaming underworld with various tortures inflicted by malevolent demons is flatly rejected.
More recent doctrinal conflicts that have plagued the Futuronian churches are largely non-issues within the Utani Church, such as:
- Women Priests: There are numerous well-educated and doctrinally-knowledgable women operating within the Utani Church, and while they are encouraged to teach, lead and encourage the faithful, they have very limited authority over men. It is not considered much of an issue, yet.
- Homosexual Priests: Given homosexuality is almost unheard-of in Utani culture, the issue has never even been raised, and is considered a curiosity of Uta-decashi culture by Utani.
Doctrinal conflicts that are native to the Utani Church are:
- The Yannists. See below. As they appear to be asserting some special understanding of Cruis's will, they have become an issue of debate within the church, as to whether the doctrinal council should call for their remonstration.
Devolved. The Church has a vague hierarchy that extends to the Utani Emperor, but most authority is in the local community themselves, except when it comes to doctrine. In other words, provided they steer-the-right-course, each community church essentially runs itself independently. Consequently, there is a wide diversity in the church.
Schisms, denominations, sects Edit
Yannism is perhaps the best known divergence within the Utani Church, and it would be false to refer to it as a denomination, schism or even a sect, since Yannists occupy the same churches as other Cruisians.
Yannism is more a more fervent belief that the plague signalled the beginning of the so-called end-times that pre-date the destruction of this creation and its replacement with a new one.
What distinguishes Yannists is their belief that any technological advancement since the plague should be rejected, or at least treated with strong suspicion. This stems from the explosion in scientific progress within the Utani Empire in the hundred years before the plague. The plague therefore, it is reasoned, was a clear sign of Cruis's rejection of the technology that was under development at that time.