EOCC (Evangelical Orthodox Catholic Christianity)

EOCC cross
Image from Steve Bowers

A branch of Christianity that arose during the Nanoswarm Age in Solsys in the habs orbiting Saturn. Though hardly the first and certainly not the last attempt to draw together diverse groups under the banner of a return to early Christian traditions, it was one of the most successful.

Though the organization has a formal theology based on the first few Christian ecumenical councils, and its human members have beliefs and practices that arguably would have been recognized by most Christian humans from the first millennium AD, the EOCC has shown great flexibility and resilience over time within that framework. While its primary appeal has been to humans of various kinds, and the denomination has traditionally been agnostic regarding the need for evangelism towards nonhumans of any kind, it has been widely adopted by members of nonhuman clades, perhaps precisely because of a relatively flexible approach involving the creation of various clade based versions of the faith. The Bonobo Rite, still followed by a significant number of the members of Clade Eja even today, is an early example.

The EOCC arose at New Antioch (originally Chronos 23, an icemining support station that had been established by a Keralan/Brazilian/Ethiopian/Korean cooperative) through a fusion of diverse but predominantly Christian ethnic groups isolated there by the first set of Nanoswarm disasters. It spread slowly at first from person to person and community to community in the habs around Saturn, in some cases converting very large percentages of the population. By the late Nanoswarm to early Federation years it was very influential, especially in the outer Solar System, due to the sheer number of converts. It eventually managed to absorb a number of separate surviving Christian denominations, and reached the colonies of what is now the Inner Sphere, though it never reached rapprochement with post-Christian groups like the Universalist Church or by the Reformed Catholic Church, and was rejected by many others as well, especially Christian groups that also claimed a return to early Christian values, such as the sects on New Jerusalem (now known as Dionysus). The EOCC has survived into the modern age despite the fact that it lacks overt sponsorship from any transapients above the second singularity, and has no transapient governance or membership. Though found throughout the Terragen sphere it is most successful along the Periphery and tends not to be competitive where Solarist missionaries are active.

Some attribute the EOCC's resilience and persistence to memetic designs by the New Antioch habmind, an early S1 hyperturing, who is known to have advised the early leaders of the EOCC. In fact, sceptics and critics believe that the habmind was merely seeking to enhance social unity and cooperation among New Antioch's citizens in the dangerous Nanoswarms period, and found the EOCC a useful tool for this purpose. Whether this is true or not has been impossible to discover from the habmind's statements, and e is no longer available for any such discussion, having departed for some unknown region of the Terragen sphere in late Federation times. Another factor in the survival of the EOCC may have been the fact that many members of the Institute for Primate Provolution are also members; a large fraction of the mixed group of humans and bonobo provolves who discovered the IPP's founding Cache were EOCC adherents.

Excepting a brief period of activity near the foundation of the First Federation, leaders of the EOCC have avoided extensive involvement in secular governance; unlike the case of the Stellar Umma and some other surviving Old Earth Abrahamic religions, its influence on politics tends to be informal, and exercised through the actions of its laity rather than those of its leaders.
 
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Development Notes
Text by Stephen Inniss

Initially published on 12 October 2009.