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  1. This question is asked quite often. There are works that even try to prove that Holmes was not a Protestant, but a Catholic (he provides several services to the Vatican); his French roots may also speak in favor of this.�

    Here are some evidences of Holmes ' religiosity or, on the contrary, atheism (based on a similar question on Quora and this article):


    1. Holmes ' monologue in the story “The Sea Treaty” (translated by D. Zhukov): “Nowhere is deduction more necessary than in religion,” he said, leaning against the shutters. “A logician can raise it to the level of an exact science. It seems to me that we owe our faith in Divine providence to flowers. Everything else — our abilities, our desires, our food-is necessary for our existence in the first place. But the rose is given to us above all else. The smell and color of roses adorn life, and are not a condition for its existence. Only Divine providence can be the source of beauty. That's why I say: as long as there are flowers, a person can hope.”

    This reflection, which is quite surprising to everyone around us, is practically in the tradition of Sufis. But don't forget that this monologue is a red herring for Holmes. Whether it expresses his true thoughts is unclear.

    1. In Gloria Scott, Holmes tells how he became friends with his only friend before Watson: “We became friends by accident, thanks to his terrier, which one morning grabbed my ankle as I was walking to church.”

    2. In the story” The Hunchback”, Holmes reveals a good knowledge of the Bible. This, however, does not indicate anything: the Bible is an obligatory cultural baggage of a European of that time, and, as we know, Conan Doyle significantly corrected the image of Holmes from “A Study in Crimson”: from a savant who knows only what he needs, he turned into a man of versatile education.

    3. But in The Boscombe Valley Mystery, Holmes tells a captured criminal :” You know yourself that you will soon be brought before a court that is higher than the earthly court.”

    4. In The Hound of the Baskervilles, Holmes says that it would be a little presumptuous of him to oppose the very originator of evil — that is, the devil. But this, of course, is ironic. But when he was convinced that Sir Henry was still alive after the dog attack, Holmes “thanked fate.” This is in the Russian translation, and in the original — “breathed prayer of gratitude”, that is, he gave thanks to heaven, said something like “glory to God”.

    5. “If God gives me health, I'll catch the whole gang! “vows Holmes in”Five Orange Seeds.”

    6. In” The Cardboard Box “(one of Conan Doyle's most terrifying stories), Holmes, after learning the true details of the crime, says darkly: “What does this mean, Watson? What is the meaning of this cycle of misery, violence, and horror? There must be some meaning, otherwise it turns out that our world is ruled by chance, and this is unthinkable.” Holmes is thus close to the proponents of the modern ” theory of intelligent design.”

    This quote conveniently brings us to Holmes ' religious doubts and possible atheism. So:

    1. In The Retiring Paymaster, Holmes, speaking of his exceptionally pathetic client, argues: : “But isn't that what our life is like? Isn't his fate the fate of all mankind in miniature? We reach for something. We're grabbing something. And what remains in our hands at the end? Shadow. Or worse: suffering.” No hint of life after death, divine salvation, and so on.

    2. In The Sign of Four, Holmes recommends to Watson a” remarkable work ” — Winwood Reed's The Martyrdom of Man. This book is emphatically atheistic.

    But the most elegant answer to your question, in my opinion, was given by one of the Quora users:

    “Holmes's motto was:' If all possible hypotheses except one are rejected, then this last one, however unlikely it may seem, will be true.' There is no way to prove the existence of God, so Holmes was probably inclined to agnosticism rather than atheism.”

    However, I want to point out that Holmes 'very zeal in his craft is not only due to the desire to earn money and” love of art.” It is extremely important to Holmes that he is engaged in a righteous cause, ordering the world, whitewashing the innocent and retributing the guilty. Not doubting the integrity of justice, he does everything to bring the criminal to him. However, there are also cases when he himself becomes justice, believing that the criminal deserves leniency or acquittal. The most striking case is the short story “Murder at Abbey Grange”. In releasing the murderer, Holmes depicts a trial in which Watson plays the role of a jury and returns a verdict of “not guilty”. What does Holmes say to this?�”Vox populi-vox Dei”(“The voice of the people — the voice of God”). Holmes ' behavior, then, reflects his ideas about the ultimate justice that justice here on earth imitates. Holmes readily integrated into this model, which, in addition, it is logical for the cultural code of his time: despite his eccentric, Holmes�— gentleman, an Englishman, a resident of the British Empire, the most powerful (at the time) state in the world, a patriot, not questioning the principles of this civilization, including colonialism (the “Sign of four” as an expression of late victorianism see brilliant article by Kirill Kobrin), and sincerely saying:”God save the Queen.” Of course, his possible faith is far from fanaticism and blind acceptance of all dogmas: on the contrary, it is rational, it does not interfere with his picture of the world.

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