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Austrism

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Austrism
Related to Idris
World Nalthis
Universe Cosmere
Featured In Warbreaker

Austrism is a monotheistic religion centered around a god named Austre, practiced by the Idrian people on Nalthis. Austre is often called "God of Colors".[1]

Austre is not Endowment[2], and his true identity (if any) is unknown. Before the Manywar and the exile of the royal family, he was also worshipped in Hallandren.[3]

Teachings[edit]

According to the doctrine of Austrism, Austre commands the Returned to come back to life, and gives Breath to humanity.[3]

The fundamental tenets of the religion are called the Five Visions.[4] These are the visions had by Vo, the First Returned, before he died.[5]

I saw men who placed themselves above others, and I saw them cast down.

—A quote from one of Vo's Five Visions[4]

The Visions teach the virtues of humility, sacrifice and seeing another's problems before your own.[6] They teach that no person should try to put oneself above others, and that Austre regards all people equally.[7] Acting ostentatiously, rejecting people because of their sins, and flaunting one's talents[8] are seen as sins.[7][5] Austrism also teaches that there is nothing wrong with feelings, but drawing attention to yourself with them is wrong.[1]

Austrism, as practiced by Idrians, considers Breaths to be intimately linked to human souls. For that reason followers of Austre consider holding the Breaths of others to be a sin, and using them to Awaken to be an even greater sin.[4] However, Vasher states that such intolerance toward Awakening only emerged after the Manywar.[6]

Austre[edit]

He’s more of a force. You know, the thing that watches over all people, who punishes those who don’t do what is right and who blesses those who are worthy.

Siri explaining the concept of Austre to Susebron[9]

Austre is the only god of the monotheistic religion of Austrism.[9] He is often referred to as the "God of Colors."[10] Austre is not Endowment[2]; it is unknown if he is a real being or not.

While male pronouns are used to reference Austre, he is not seen as a person, but instead, as an invisible karmic force that watches over all people.[9] Despite being viewed as a force, he is often given human descriptions, such as colorful eyes.[11] He is said to have emotion and to be able to be pleased or displeased with someone's actions.[10] Followers of Austrism believe he regards all humans, regardless of their societal status, as equals.[7]

He is believed to make all living things, and to put them in their proper place better than any human could.[1][9] He is also said to give people their personalities[1] and their talents.[8] Austrism holds that he sends the Returned back to Nalthis as his prophets[3], and gave Vo the Five Visions.[9]

The Idrians believe that Austre watches over them and protects them.[12][10] They call themselves sons and daughters of Austre.[11]

Members of Austrism[edit]

Curses[edit]

Almost every Idrian uses Austre's name for a variety of expressions of confusion, shock, and disbelief.

"For Austre’s sake!"[12]

"Austre, God of Colors!"[10][13][14]

"What in Austre’s name was that?"[14][15]

"Oh, Austre."[14][5]

"Oh, God, Lord of Colors!"[5]

Monks[edit]

Monks of Austrism (also called Idrian monks) are supposed to be the most pious and least ostentatious of Idrians.[16] They are required to shear off their hair and wear white robes.[12] It is seen as a duty in Idris to provide at least one child for the monasteries (especially among noble or rich families), as it is against the Five Visions to be selfish, even with one's own blood.[12] Idrian monks do not get locked in a monastery--they can leave at any time[16]--and they provide services for the needy in Idris.

The monks act as servants to the kingdom's poor in a very formalized way.[17] For example, if a man breaks his leg and can't work, a monk will take his place at his job; the wages earned will still go to the injured man's family. Occasionally, if a father dies, a monk is permanently assigned to his place at work and provides for that man's family.

Monks are forbidden to own or possess anything themselves and to give everything they have to the people.[17] Without the pressure to feed themselves or acquire goods, some monks can be a little lazy. However, many are very diligent, such as Fafen.[12]

Quotes[edit]

Flowers ain't evil, assuming they're left where Austre put them. We shouldn't use Austre's beauty to make ourselves more important.

Mab to Siri [1]

In the distance, she could see the plateau that held the Court of Gods, the most profane place beneath Austre's colorful eyes.

Vivenna travelling in T'Telir [11]

Trivia[edit]

Austre may be a very old Returned.[2]

Notes[edit]

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