Christianity is a major human religion dating from long before the Hegira, based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, who Aenea claims to have been able to access The Void Which Binds and to time travel. Various churches claim Christianity as their foundation, and the term Christianity does not specifically relate to a particular sect or denomination.
Besides giving origin to different sects in the far-future described in the Hyperion Cantos universe, several themes from this Old Earth religion are prevalent in other religious societies as well: for instance, the Judeo-Christian concept of Atonement is an important doctrine for both Templars and the Church of the Final Atonement. Similarly, Aenea herself is described as a Messiah figure, eventually giving rise to the Church of Aenea.
Christianity's themes are also a main component of the Hyperion Cantos story line itself. For example, the philosophy of the Old Earth Jesuit theologian Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, in particular his Omega Point idea, provide the framework for such literary devices as the Ultimate Intelligence.
The main Christian sect described in the Cantos is the Catholic Church. However, another branch exists: the Mariaists, who descended from Old Earth Latin American heritage and reject the teachings of the Catholic Church in favor of primarily worshiping Mary, the mother of Jesus of Nazareth.
The Old Earth Christian branches, besides Catholicism, had first been replaced by Zen Christianity, which in turn gave birth to the popular religion of Zen Gnosticism, then to over a hundred other theologies.
SPOILER ALERT! The section(s) below are MAJOR SPOILERS.
- Main article: Catholic Church
During the Final Shrike Pilgrimage, one of Christianity's main sects, the Catholic Church, is a dying religion headquartered on Pacem, a world that was now home to the Vatican, which had been transported there stone by stone during the Hegira.
After Father Paul Duré and Lenar Hoyt's discovery of the Cruciform among the Bikura indigenies on Hyperion, the Catholic Church undergoes a great revival due to its ability to provide human societies with a type of immortality via the Cruciform and the Sacrament of Resurrection. The new converts and bearers of the Cruciform are then called born-again Christians. The hordes of newly converted societies provide the Catholic Church with immense political and military power, which included the development of its military branch known as the Pax in the historic period known as the Pax Era.
- ↑ The Fall of Hyperion, 1995, Chapter 7