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Universe of the Magisterium is a Wikia Scratchpad Web site created by Newmarduk.
THE OFFICIAL MAGISTERIUM
The Official Magisterium is a combination of church and political party that exists and exercises a tremendous influence in a parallel universe including alternate versions of the human species, the planet Earth, and Earth's solar system. The Official Magisterium in religious matters believes in the existance of a divine Supreme Being or God that created it's universe (and any other universe that might exist) and in praying to this God for the well being of his/her/it's worshippers. In political matters, the Official Magisterium basically believes in any type of government that promotes law-and-order and what is vaguely defined as "good government".
The Official Magisterium is divided into various sects and factions that disagree on the following issues:
democracy vs. authoritarianism: some factions of the Official Magisterium believe in allowing ordinary people to elect political leaders while other factions favor or at least tolerate authoritarian systems of government.
monotheism vs. polytheism: some Official Magisterium factions/sects preach that there is only one God, while others believe there are lesser deities subordinate to the Supreme Being.
gender of the Supreme Being: most factions believe the God who created the universe is male or female or a combination of both or is a gender-neutral deity. A few Official Magisterium factions are neutral on the question.
economic policy: a few Official Magisterium factions are actually neutral on the issue of economic policy. Some factions preach a belief in state socialism or laissez-faire free enterprise while most preach a middle way in which businesses are mainly privately owned but also there being government regulation of private enterprise. Official Magisterium factions that favor socialism or a middle way in economics also tend to favor workers organized in labor unions.
welfare policy: most Official Magisterium factions favor a government role in charity and social welfare but a few sects/factions favor private charity as a substitue for governmental social programs.
economic and welfare policy: a few Official Magisterium factions are actually neutral on the question of economic policy. Some sects lean toward state socilism or laissez-faire free enterprise while most preach a middle way favoring private ownership of business enterprises with government regulation and organization of workers into labor unions. Most Official Magisterium sects/factions support government social-welfare programs, but a few sects actually prefer private charity over government welfare.
number of universes: most Official Magisterium factions used to believe there is only one universe, but the notion promoted by some sects that there is a multiverse with parallel universes has already been officially confirmed by experience by the dimension-hopping ritual mastered by certain Hesychast sects (see below).
cloning, genetic engineering, and artificial intelligence: Most Official Magisterium factions accept cloning of humans but a few sects oppose it. Most sects oppose the cloning of chimeras (animal-human hybrids) though a few factions accept it. Most sects also oppose A.I. for robots and computers but a few Official Magisterium factions are more tolerant of it. There is also the question of whether the creation of chimeras and A.I. for machines should be opposed mainly by moral and ethnical appeals or whether governmental authorities should enforce legal bans on the creation of such creatures and machines.
Membership in the Official Magisterium includes both clergy and laity. The lowest ranked clergy in the Official Magisterium are labeled deacons, and deacons lead individual Official Magisterium churches and congregations of laity. Religious services in churches are typically a combination of praying to the Supreme Being (and sometimes to other deities) and the deacon preaching on a point of religion, morals, or politics. Sometimes meetings are organized in an Official Magisterium church by it's deacon for a more purely political purpose, to rally the faithful on a particular political issue or in democratic nations to urge the faithful to vote the "correct" way in elections. Some churches have more than one deacon, but rarely more than three. Individual churches are most likely affiliated with a faction/sect within the Official Magisterium. Deacons obtain their clerical status by being appointed by an exarch (see below) or two other deacons.
The next highest rank of clergy are the exarchs, and according to Official Magisterium rules the exarchs are appointed by other exarchs, with the requirement that three exarchs are needed to elevate a deacon to the rank of exarch. Exarchs are inevitably affiliated with sects/factions in the Official Magisterium. Each exarch has leadership over a number of deacons and churches. Sometimes, an exarch will appear in a church for religious services or a political meeting.
The highest ranking clerics are the apostles, who are elected by the exarchs from within their own ranks. The apostles regularly meet as the Holy Synod, the highest governing body of the Official Magisterium. The city of Jerusalem is the seat of the Holy Synod, and under the permanent jurisdiction of the Official Magisterium.
The Official Magisterium of this universe's Earth hopes to use the Transdimensional Void Runners in it's own Hesychast Order in order to access alternate Earths and expand into new universes.
Meanwhile, a rival Magisterium  from the Earth of the universe of His Dark Material  has already started dimension hopping via alternate Earths and has even visited the Earth of the Universe of the Magisterium. The two Magisteriums have become religious/political rivals of each other.
THE NORTH AMERICAN CITY-STATES
North America north of the Rio Grande River is divided into hundreds of city-states, each it's own nation. Most have democratic elections but a few are dictatorships. The rival political parties that fight each other in elections are often rival factions within the Official Magisterium and some elected executive and legislative officials are deacons or exarchs. There are also the so-called secular parties in North American politics, which strive to keep Official Magisterium influence in their city-states largely confined to religious matters, and secular party candidates regularly compete versus Official Magisterium candidates in elections. The North American city-states generally practice freedom of religion (including non-Official Magisterium religions and beliefs), though most of them also promote the Magisterium as their official faith. This has caused the secular parties to promote the cause of separation of church and state.
The North American Militia is a joint military force supported by over 90 percent of all the city-states in order to protect North American territory from foreign aggressors.
THE HESYCHAST ORDER
There is an order of monks and nuns that is officially part of the Official Magisterium but independent of it's hierarchy of deacons and exarchs, subject only to the Holy Synod. The monasteries and nunneries of the Hesychast Order promote the searching of spiritual and religious truths independently of politics. The abbots and abbotesses of the Hesychast retreats elect the Holy Leader of their Order, who answers to the apostles of the Holy Synod. Monks and nuns according to Official Magisterium rules cannot be exarchs or apostles, and may be ordained deacons only with permission of their Order's Holy Leader. Like the rest of the Official Magisterium, the Hesychast Order is divided into sects/factions, with monasteries and nunneries afiliated with different factions. Hesychast sects are different from other Official Magisterium sects in that they eschew politics for the most part and concentrate on more purely theological matters.
There are at least four or five sects/factions of monks and nuns who have developed/discovered a psychic/occultic/supernatural ritual-believed to be a gift from the Supreme Being-allowing travel to various versions of Earth in alternate universes, causing members of these Hesychast sects to become Transdimensional Void Runners.
THE OLD REPUBLIC
This democratic government used to be the one-world government that dominated the planet Earth, but warfare reduced it's control to a large portion of Europe and part of Africa. The decline of the Old Republic largely corresponded with the rise of the Official Magisterium, which both started over 1000 years ago and ended up with their current respective status' over 400 years ago. The government of the Old Republic is composed of a Popular Assembly elected by democratic vote, a Senate combining executive and most legislative powers with senators elected by the Popular Assembly, and judges appointed by the Senate for life. Most of the political parties in the Old Republic are basically Official Magisterium factions, but there is also a Socialist Party and an African nationalist party that compete in elections as well. The capital of the Old Republic is the city of Geneva in the former Switzerland.
THE SINO-RUSSIAN SOCIALIST EMPIRE
This nation/government is a direct descendant of two ancient nations: China and Russia. The symbolic head of state is the Czar, who inherits his/her throne from the parent or other relative/family member who held the Imperial throne. The Czar governs the Sino-Russian realm with the aid of a Neo-Communist Party, which has both Russian and Chinese branches. The Party preaches a belief in Marxist-Leninism but in practice the Neo-Communists accept a mixed economy combining state socialism with a welfare state and a private economic sector. China exists within the Empire as a local "autonomous region" with it's own hereditary Emperor ruling from Beijing who is reputed to be descended from China's ancient Ming and Manchu dynasties, though the Chinese Emperor is subordinate to the Czar. The Chinese branch of the Neo-Communist Party helps the local Emperor in governing China as part of the larger Socialist Empire.
The dominant sects in the Official Magisterium within the Sino-Russian Socialist Empire tend to include elements either of Russian Orthodox Christianity or a syncretic mixture of Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian philosophy. Of course, the Official Magisterium factions here preach worship of the Supreme Being although prayers to Russian Orthodox saints and Chinese gods and philosophers occur frequently as well. The Sino-Russian Official Magisterium factions also favor the joint dictatorship of the Czar, Chinese Emperor, and Neo-Communist Party over any form of democracy.
The capital of the whole Empire is, of course, Moscow.
The Neo-Communist Party, in addition to socialist ideology, also promotes close ties to the Official Magisterium and the notion that the Czar and the Chinese Emperor rule with the "mandate of heaven", a borrowing from Confucian philosophy.
The Sino-Russian Socialist Empire in recent times have adopted a more militaristic view with the aim to place more people under the rule of the Czar and the Chinese Emperor and a socialistic ideology. A portion of North America (mainly the former Alaska and a portion of the former Canada), Korea, Japan, central Asia, and part of southeast Asia have already fallen to the rule of the Socialist Empire, with Korea, Japan, and southeast Asian territory absorbed into the Chinese autonomous portion of the Empire. Meanwhile, eastern Europe remains a source of diplomatic and occasional military conflict between the Socialist Empire and the Old Republic, while the North American Militia attempts to contain Sino-Russian imperialism in North America.
Much of the economy in the Socialist Empire is, of course, dominated by state enterprises, but part of the economy is in private hands (partially or totally).
There are two joint government-private corporations in the Socialist Empire: the Russian National Interest Corporation and the China National Interest Corporation. The former is jointly owned by the central Sino-Russian government and private shareholders unofficially titled boyars. The latter is jointly owned by the local Chinese government and private shareholders unofficially labeled mandarins.
Economic enterprises that are purely privately owned tend to be small private farms that dominate agriculture in the Socialist Empire or small non-agricultural businesses that employ 10 or fewer workers.
The nation of Stygia covers the former nation of Egypt, much of the Middle East, Asia Minor, and portion of the African continent. It's capital is the city of Alexandria. The government is nominally a democratic republic governed by a supposedly democratically-elected Senate and a President elected by the Sygian Senate, but in practice the nation is a family monarchy controlled by a single family, the Ctesphon-Akbars, and both major polical parties-the Crescent Moon Party and the Red Sun Party-are controlled by different factions in the Ctesphon-Akbar family. The President of Stygia is always a member of the same family, and the office is often passed from father to son or brother to brother or uncle to nephew.
The Official Magisterium factions in Stygia are divided on various political issues but tend toward monotheism in theological matters, and the influence of Judaism, Christianity, and especiallly Islam can be seen in the views of Stygian deacons and exarchs.
In foreign affairs, Stygia is allied with the Sino-Russian Socialist Empire and often hostile to the Old Republic, the Islamo-Indian Caliphate, and the Southern African Republic.
THE ISLAMO-INDIAN CALIPHATE
The Islamo-Indian Caliphate is a hereditary monarchy ruled by the Caliph, who shares authority with the Ulama, a council of Official Magisterium clerics, and the Majlis, an assembly composed of two houses, the hereditary House of Notables, and the democratically-elected House of Commoners. The Caliphate government recognizes as a quasi-official faith a group of deacons and exarchs organized into an Official Magisterium sect called Neo-Islamic Orthodoxy, which sees the Supreme Being as the only true God and identified with Allah. Neo-Islamic Orthodoxy also believes there is only one universe, favors government social-welfare programs and private ownership of businesses, and opposes human cloning, the creation of chineras, and A.I. for robots and computers. Neo-Islamic Orthodoxy also reveres the Prophet Mahummad and the Koran. There is an Indian autonomous region within the Caliphate which has some self-government under it's local Raja (elected governor) and elected parliament. The region of India covers India proper and a portion of southeast Asia. Official Magisterium sects in India tend to worship Hindu deities as subordinate to the Supreme Being and preach a belief in reincarnation, reflecting Hindu and Buddhist influence. Monasteries in the Hesychast Order in India, while reflecting Official Magisterium belief in a Supreme Being and praying to him/it/her, tend to focus a lot more on the local neo-Buddhist elements and less on the veneration and worship of Hindu deities.
In foreign affairs, the Islamo-Indian Caliphate is hostile towards Stygia and the Sino-Russian Socialist Empire.
The capital of the Caliphate is the city of Baghdad in the former Iraq.
SOUTHERN AFRICAN REPUBLIC
The Southern African Republic was formed over 600 years ago by several different factions in order to keep their region free from both the Old Republic and Stygia, though in modern times the Southern Africans are less hostile to the Old Republic than to the Stygians. While the Official Magisterium does have some influence here, the more dominant religion is that of the Incarnate Church, which preaches the notion that people can become gods and is mainly independent of the Official Magisterium. The government is in the hands of an elected parliament with multiple political parties, with most parties being sects/factions in the Official Magisterium or the Incarnate Church. The Southern African parliament also has elected representatives of the Southern African Secular Party, which favors minimizing religion's influence in politics. The capital of this republic is the city of Maputo in the former Mozambique.
THE AUSTRA-ASIAN UNITY
The Austra-Asian Unity is a nation controlling a portion of southeast Asia (mainly in the former Indonesia and over New Guinea), the continent of Australia, the former New Zealand, and a number of Pacific islands. With it's capital in the city of Sydney, the Astra-Asian government is authoritarian with a monopoly on political rule in the hands of a single party, the Iron Fist. The Iron Fist preaches military expansion in southeast Asia and in the Pacific islands, placing the Austra-Asian Unity in conflict with the Sino-Russian Socialist Empire and the Oceania Free State.
The Iron Fist continually shifts the Austra-Asian economy between private enterprise and state socialism.
Official Magisterium factions in the Austra-Asian Unity tend to support the rule of the Iron Fist but differ on other issues.
OCEANIA FREE STATE
The Oceania Free State is a democratic republic that controls much of the Pacific Ocean by controlling many of it's islands, a portion of South America, and the entire continent of Antarctica. The government is in the hands of a democratically-elected Senate and Executive and Judicial Councils elected by senators, and it's capital is the city of Honolulu in the former Hawaii. Conflicts with the Austra-Asian Unity and the Mexican and Brazilian Empires are frequent over control of Pacific islands and territory in western South America. The Oceanians try to counter this by cultivating the Sino-Russian Socialist Empire and the city-states in North America as allies. Political parties in the Oceania Free State tend to be Official Magisterium factions/sects.
This empire, with it's capital in Mexico City, and based upon the former Mexico and Central America, attempts to expand it's territory into North America and further south into South America (the former Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru). The government is nominally in the hands of a hereditary, nominally absolute monarch, but in practice the Official Magisterium is the real power in the Mexican Empire. The Emperor's advisors and ministers are appointed from the ranks of deacons and exarchs, and military officers, civil-service bureaucrats, and local governors and mayors are also appointed from the ranks of clergy. Of course, as in several other nations, Official Magisterium factions/sects serve as de facto political parties.
The Mexican Empire is allied with the Brazilian Empire and hostile toward the Oceania Free State and the North American city-states.
This empire is governed jointly by a hereditary Emperor, a hereditary Senate, and a democratically-elected General Assembly. It's capital is the city of Rio De Jainero in Brazil proper. The Brazilian Empire has an official Pact of Peace and Cooperation with the Mexican Empire. It controls the majority of the South American continent and the islands of the Caribbean. The Official Magisterium's Hesychast Order tends to be more dominant here than the regular deacons and exarchs, and hense sects tend to be non-political factions. The three main political parties are the Conservatives, Progressives, and Socialists. The Conservatives have the official backing of the ruling monarch, are militaristic (especially toward the Oceania Free State) and backed by a faction of aristocrats in the Senate. The Progressives are more pacifist than the Conservatives, supported by a minority faction of aristocratic senators, and includes a faction that favors a republic. The Socialist Party favors a welfare state, socialist economic policies, the creation of a republic, and abolition of the Senate and the monarchy.
The Conservative Party always seems to win a majority or a plurality of seats in the General Assembly, which explains the Brazilian Empire's hostility toward the Oceania Free State.
The organization of workers into labor unions is a controversy here, with most Conservatives and some Progressives opposed to it, while a majority of Progressives along with Socialists in favor of it.
There is a growing pro-independence movement in the Caribbean, and this issue sharply divides the Progressive and Socialist Parties and earns the hostility of most Conservatives. The growth of geurilla warfare in the island region concerns the central government.
Technology in the Universe of the Magisterium is in several ways more advanced than that of our Earth around 2000 A.D.
Many humans are created by artificial cloning in special tanks instead of naturally born except in the Islamo-Indian Caliphate, where cloning is banned.
Robots and computers are used in agriculture, industry (particularly mining and some manufacturing), and in military forces alongside human work forces and soldiers. There has been limited experimentation over the centuries with aritificial intelligence for robots and computers, but the influence of labor unions and many Official Magisterium sects have caused governments (except in some North American city-states and to a more limited degree in the Old Republic) to severely limit or totally ban A.I.
There has also been experimentation with cloning of chimeras or animal-human hybrids, with the chimera races the same as those in the universe of the Empire of the Solar Throne. See also Animal-human hybrids in Empire of the Solar Throne.
Genetic engineering has produced fruits, vegetables, grains, pigs, and cattle that provide more nutritious, less disease-prone food sources in virtually all the nations of the Universe of the Magisterium.
Nuclear-fusion reactors and solar panels are the main sources of electricity on the present-day Earth.
Weapons include kinetic-kill missles (do damage by momentum alone; no warheads), laser and particle-beam guns, and some old-fashion, slugthrowing firearms and artillery.
Vehicles include wheelless hovercraft that are amphibious (can travel on both land and water), hovercycles (basically motorcycles the function like hovercraft), jetcopters (a combination of jet airplane and helicopter), hoversubs (combination of submarine and hovercraft), and subcopters (combination of jetcopter and submarine). Electrical batteries, solar power, and nuclear-fusion engines are the main sources of propulsion.
PROHIBITITION ON WMDS
Due to the influence of the Official Magisterium, virtually all governments have banned nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.
In the Universe of the Magisterium, there are short-range space shuttles powered by nuclear-fusion engines and longer-range space cruisers powered by nuclear-fusion or a combination of nuclear fusion and solar sails. There are also over 50 space stations in Earth orbit. The space stations and space cruisers produce artificial gravity by including special rotating sections on their main bodies. The main off-Earth source of food is genetically-engineered fruits and vegetables (see above) grown in special gardens with hydroponic systems and infrared lighting.
The three main promoters of space travel and off-Earth colonization are the governments of the Old Republic and the Sino-Russian Socialist Empire and the private corporation known as the Astrotech Futurist Cartel. The Astrotech Futurist Cartel is located on Earth mainly in certain North American city-states, the Oceania Free State, and the Southern African Republic.
Official Magisterium elements off Earth tend to belong to the Hesychast Order and therefore non-political in nature.
There are several permamenent bases on Luna (Earth's moon), and there are frequent trips across interplanetary space for scientific research and to look into the possibility of interplanetary colonization.
It takes a large space cruiser about three years to travel from the planet Earth to about 40 A.U. from the Sun (Earth is 1 A.U. from the Sun), where the Kuiper Belt is with it's icy comets, ice-and-rock asteroids, and Pluto-like dwarf planets.