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THE ROLE OF RELIGION IN THE NOVEL The framework within which events unfold is made up of two Christian religions Protestantism and Catholicism In Scotland both religions were viewed as polar opposites Miss Brodie was brought up under the Church of Scotland meaning that she was a Protestant and she also followed Calvinist teachings Calvinism in Protestant Christianity is the theology developed and advanced by John Calvin It forms the foundations for Presbyterianism and is vased on the beliefs that 1there is a hell to which some human beings will go 2most human beings will end up in hell 3God is all powerful 4God planned who will and who wont go to hell 5everything which happens is Gods will 6the individual makes no independent choices and has no free will 7we cant be given creditcondemnation for the good and bad things we do as everything is Gods will Sandy becomes a Roman Catholic which is the religion Muriel Spark was converted to in 1953 The process of conversion is not described in the novel but Sandys interest in this religion seems to have been triggered off by her adulterous affair with Teddy Lloyd By the end of the year it happened that she had quite lost interest in the man Teddy himself but was deeply absorbed in his mind from which she extracted among other things his religion as a pith from a husk Her mind was as full of his religion as a nig ht sky is full of things visible and invisible She left the man and took his religion and became a nun in the course of time What is interesting is that despite Sparks own conversion to Catholicism it is unclear whether Catholicism is shown in a favourable light On no account does Sandy now Sister Helena of the Transfiguration give us the impression that her soul is at peace She clutched the bars of
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