I’m reading “Wicked” for the second time. The first time was a few years ago (shortly after it first came out in paperback form). I wanted to read it again partially because there is a sequel coming out soon and partially because I have been contemplating a paper on religion in Oz and I vaguely remembered “Wicked” dealing with the issue. It is a facinating book. I am currently in the section about Shiz, which has some facsinating philosophical issues in it, not least of all the rights of Animals in a world like Oz. I find the religious climate in the book very interesting. There are basically three major schools of thought that blur a lot into actual practices: Unionism, Lurlinism and the Pleasure Faith. I am quite pleased that Elphaba asks the questions she does because it allows the reader to hear answers, and further questions, from a variety of characters in the Oz world. The book is very much Maguire’s view of Oz and not Baum’s, but it does shed some light on potential issues that Baum glossed over or ignored in his books. It also makes me even more keen on looking into the idea of religion and religious imagry in Oz.