, ,

Rating: Overall 6, In Nomine 4

Heavenly Discourse is my favorite work of historically contemporary political satire available in print. The work was penned by Charles Erskine Scott Wood, a civil rights lawyer and a veteran of the US Army.

Each of the 40 essays takes the form of a dialog featuring a cast of characters from religion, mythology, world history, and then contemporary politics. The most frequent cast members were God, the Devil, Mark Twain, Jesus, and Saint Peter, and the angels Michael and Gabriel. The series included guest appearances from figures including Hermes, Abraham Lincoln, Confucius, Voltaire, Billy Sunday, Buddah, Margaret Fuller, Mohammad, and Shakespeare.

Through these dialogs Wood opined on evolution, marriage, censorship, patriotism, racism, the First World War (then still known as the Great War), Christianity, and many other topics that remain as relevant now as they were then.

Because of the active role God plays in these essays, it would be difficult to include them into an In Nomine game as printed. However, the generally philosophical and hands-off approach favored my Wood’s God means that Yves would make a reasonable replacement should you wish to integrate any of these exchanges into your game.

If it’s not at the local bookstore, a copy of Heavenly Discourse can be found at the Open Library.