What is Glie?

The city of Glie was created with a large number of influences, at least a couple of which should be very obvious. I do want to start by contradicting two of the most popular claims I've seen so far.

First is the Garden of Eden. This one is pretty obviously not correct. Man was thrown out of the Garden of Eden after eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (the full name of this tree is, for some reason, rarely used). The haibane and the other inhabitants certainly already know about good and evil. The whole series would not be possible if they didn't. I'm not too clear on how this one even came up as an option.

The second, Purgatory, is harder to contradict, because it certainly was a large influence on the setting. However, I don't think it was the main one.
To expand on this, Purgatory is a place of punishment after death (it's name comes from the Latin for "to purify"). It's where the souls that are in a state of grace, but are not entirely free from venial (minor) sins, go. There they finish their punishment. However, make no mistake about it being punishment. Glie is Purgatory only for those haibane who are Sin-Bound.
Everyone else seems quite happy there, which doesn't fit the theme of purification through punishment at all. There's also a couple key points this fails to cover, the most obvious one being the haibane children.

Instead, the main theme seems to be Limbo. It's not as well known as Purgatory, but it fits the setting much better. There are two key points about it to make note of.
One is that it's destination of the souls of unbaptized children. Being free of sin of their own, they aren't consigned to punishment. However, since they weren't baptized they aren't completely free of sin, which means they can't enter Heaven. This nicely explains why the little haibane kids are around.
The second is that it is a happy place, something Rakka makes several mentions of, and something that doesn't fit with Purgatory.
That's not the end of things, however. Limbo is a temporary place (Purgatory isn't necessarily so). It's a place of waiting until Christ ascends into Heaven.

In fact, ABe seems to have combined Purgatory and Limbo into one place. Between the two, they cover all the major aspects.

However, there are certainly some Eastern influences on the setting as well.
The insistence on haibane having to work seems to reflect the Zen Buddhism concept of seishin tanren, that is, spiritual forging. It is most commonly associated with martial arts, especially swordsmanship, but seems applicable to any concentrated endeavor. This would be a particularly good path for Kana and her clocks...

Other Eastern influences will have to wait, as I'm not particularly familiar with the religions. If anyone recognizes anything, please let me know.

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