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I'm currently running a Role-playing game which is nearing its fourth year of play and is coming to a close. The end of the campaign will involve the passing away of this world and the prophesied metaphysical unification of the new earth with aspects of the old heaven, which will then also have passed away. After a short period of campaign resolution, the game will end, so I don't need to be able to do this for very long, but I will almost certainly have to run direct dialouge with God or, at a minimum, deal with eschatological logistics. I want to do this is a respectful and sacred way, and I am worried about being up to the task.

What issues have been brought up by other Roman Catholics in the past as integral to the act of representing God and/or the end times in a fictional work?

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    @thedarkwanderer What a stupendously interesting question! I would look to how CS Lewis and Tolkien handled this. I believe they both were Catholic (or partial to it). – 3961 Dec 10 '14 at 8:01
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    I am only speculating that you might find a decent answer within these men's works. I am not very familiar with the finer details of their works myself. – 3961 Dec 10 '14 at 10:35
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    Another mod piped up and disagreed with keeping the current version closed, and gave good reasoning, as did others in comments here. You're all right. The current version is workable. I'm reopening, and if you don't mind, deleting the obsolete comments regarding the closure and re-opening. – David Stratton Dec 10 '14 at 13:08
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    Also, as the comments go on, might I suggest a chat room on the topic? That might be a better venue for getting feedback discussion-style anyway, and it appears there's a bit of interest in pitching in. – David Stratton Dec 10 '14 at 13:19
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    @warren The system is Mist, which is a system I wrote myself and pretend I'm going to publish some day. The setting is not so far from our reality as to have no God at all, though certainly my conceptualization of God has moved the setting in some ways away from real life (among other things). While intended to be used in my personal evangelization, the connection to God in my work is normally subtle. The Minstrel's Song (cjshayward.com/tms) is an explicitly Christian RPG created by a member of the Eastern Orthodox faith. It may fit what you are looking for better. – Please stop being evil Dec 10 '14 at 21:04
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+100

Starting off with the Church teaching on images

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church

CCC 2132 The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, "the honor rendered to an image passes to its prototype," and "whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it."1 The honor paid to sacred images is a "respectful veneration," not the adoration due to God alone:

Religious worship is not directed to images in themselves, considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect as images leading us on to God incarnate. The movement toward the image does not terminate in it as image, but tends toward that whose image it is.2

1. St. Basil, De Spiritu Sancto 18,45:PG 32,149C; Council of Nicaea II: DS 601; cf. Council of Trent: DS 1821-1825; Vatican Council II: SC 126; LG 67.
2. St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II,81,3 ad 3.

Therefore making of images which Christians may venerate is not contrary to God's commandments, and is in accordance with Church Tradition and practice from the earliest times3.

3. cf. Veneration of Images | New Advent.

In the New Advent articles, we gather that in the first centuries of Christianity, there are no pictures of the Crucifixion except the mock-crucifix scratched by some pagan soldier in the Palatine barracks.

Therefore a picture of the crucifixion can be made to mock in one case and in another for veneration. Also the article quotes Catholic teaching that "we do not pray to relics or images, for they can neither see nor hear nor help us."

Therefore answering

What issues have been brought up by other Roman Catholics in the past as integral to the act of representing God and/or the end times in a fictional work?

In conclusion, the representation is to be made in a way that is in obedience to God's commandments [the first and the second], in accordance with Church tradition and practice, and also done tastefully and in a way that does not offend not only Catholic, but also Christian sensibility4 as well.

4. cf. Jesus Christ Superstar - an utter blasphemy!!! | The personal blog of Rev Brian McClung, Minister of Newtownabbey Free Presbyterian Church & Administrator of Newtownabbey Independent Christian School.


The Last Judgement, a mighty composition, painted by Michelangelo between 1536 and 1541, in the Sistine Chapel.

enter image description here

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    Thanks for tackling the question and in particular your links/examples. You seem to be suggesting that the construction of an image of God in any manner, not just a visual one, should be done in the manner of an icon, is that correct? – Please stop being evil Jan 6 '15 at 6:53
  • @thedarkwanderer Thank you! ... in manner that is consistent with Church Doctrine, tradition and practice, and in a non-sacrilegious manner. Please note that Michelangelo depicts Christ as beardless and in this icon Christ Pantocrator, he is bearded. – user13992 Jan 6 '15 at 10:09
  • @user13992 As scripture doesn't specify either way, neither depiction is disrespectful. – KorvinStarmast Sep 10 '17 at 17:52

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