So I've been getting ready to read Hiero's Journey again, a buddy and I were talking about it and how great of an example of a D&D Cleric he makes. And it makes D&D sense, with high level clerics being better fighters than fighters, Hiero is a stone killer on account of than.
Another great example of a genre literary example of a possible cleric is the Bene Gessit of Dune. I guess the weirding way is another example of the fighting capabilities of a high level cleric. Plus, they totally use the Command spell!
I haven't been keen on the idea of the Cleric class and their ability to cast spells due to divine intervention; I very much prefer the idea of the true attributes and even the existence of deities in D&D to be ambiguous, with exceptions for immortal God-Emperors, blasphemous thing from before time and the like. Although I though it was total horseshit when I first got Menzter Basic D&D and it said that clerics may derive their powers from philosophies or something along those line, nowadays I like the idea of magic powered Clerics belonging to esoteric-ish sects that imbue their members with preternatural abilities via intense training and conditions, preternatural abilities. A lot of cleric spells could be seen as psychic abilities, unlocked via the secrets of one's order.
Of course with my two examples above there's conflicts withe the traditional clerical prohibition against edged weapons, and the ability to turn undead (although one could argue the Hiero may have turned/destroyed an undead in the Palood), but my current simulacra of choice, LOTFPWFRPG, solves that conundrum.
When thinking about the prohibitions against edged weapons it's interesting to according to LBB OD&D that magic swords are explicitly restricted to fighters, I see it as a bit of genre protection for Fighting Men. The only mechanical effect of weapon restrictions for clerics (and magic users) is that they don't benefit from those sweet magic swords!
Perhaps the eldritch emanations from magic swords suffer interference from the magical auras of spell-casting characters, and are disabled in their grasp...