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Monotheistic To A Certain Extent The ‘Good Neighbours’ Of God In Ireland

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Chapter Summary

From an emic point of view, Christianity is a monotheistic religion-a religion which acknowledges only one God. This chapter offers some of the medieval and modern descriptions and evaluations of the specific class of supernaturals known as the áes síde, or, popularly, the "fairies." It briefly looks at the different evaluations of the supernaturals in medieval Irish literature. It is important to note that áes síde means "the people of the síd(e)." This designation obviously suits inclusive monotheism very well, and reflects the idea that they are the neighbours of the Irish. These neighbours, appearing as human beings, could be met on this earth; yet, they were believed to be essentially different from human beings-in this sense, they are the neighbours of the God of the Christians. 'Good neighbours' is their euphemistic designation, which hints at their sinister characteristics.

Keywords: áes síde; Christianity; God; medieval Irish literature; monotheistic religion

10.1163/ej.9789004173163.i-250.20
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