The mortals cannot really know for sure how their god wants them to behave. The moral rules, the ethic preached is a result of:
A consequence of this is that the existence of certain ideas on Harn that in our world have developed as a direct or indirect result of Christianity, needs to be explained. I'm thinking of notions such as: Sin, Salvation, Soul, Spirit, mortality and immortality, Conscience, Chivalry, etc.
I can think of three different sources of the Christian ideas found in Harnic religions:
We would then have to explain how and why such religious ideas have been able to get a foothold in NW Lythia and how they managed to spread among the NW Lythian religions. Maybe ideas of this kind influenced the religions who seems to have originated in the easternmost areas of NW Lythia (the eastern parts of the Venarian Sea) Halea and Naveh; but on the other hand neither of these religions seems to have any of the ideas I'm interested in.
This can be used as an excuse to take Christian ideas and claim that they are Elvish ideas that have been imported by the Jarin. Over the centuries some of the original Elvish character would be lost and the ideas would change, take on a partially new meaning. An example: Sin, might have been an Elvish concept imported by the Jarin, later it changed and became connected to punishment and penance.
To explain how ideas that would originally came from the Sindar could have spread to the continent, one could suggest that learned Jarin from Emelrene and Shorkyne journeyed to Harn, seeking to learn from the Elves. Thus when they returned eastward they brought new ideas with them.
Against this could be argued: Why would the Elves teach humans about their thoughts and their religion? As I understand, from how Siem is described in GoH, an Elf wouldn't decline to help a brooding human find his place in the world. The Elf would probably try to help the Human find the answer himself but he would need to translate some words to help explain important concepts.
Consider for example Larani, a large number of the names on holy places, weapons and rituals used in the Larani religion have Sindarin origin. These are, for example: Irannon, Tirithor, Dolithor, Knights of Tirith and some more. This implies some form of Elvish influence, either by the Elves of Harn or by Siem himself. If this is true the Larani religion should have originated somewhere near Harn, probably among the Jarin in Emelrene, Shorkyne or Trierzon. The Peoni religion who seems to be closely related to Larani also have Christian notions such as Sin, Conscience and Penance.
One could therefore argue that Peoni and Larani would have originated in roughly the same area and that Peoni also is, originally, a Jarind religion.
As you can guess I'm rather fond of the idea that the Elves have influenced the Humans in NW Lythia far more than we earlier thought. I must point out though that the humans to begin with have had almost two thousand years in which they have "Humanified" the Elvish ideas and secondly that the ideas have been washed out further of from Harn. So that in Azeryan ideas that have spread that far have quite different meaning than the original ones.
An example of how humans might have changed Elvish ideas : The notion of a Soul, in Sindarin 'Soul' is called Fëa, and the Elves have different notion about the nature of the Soul than the Christian one (which I assume corresponds to the Laranian and Penian concept of Soul). The idea however that a part of a beings spirit is immortal is shared by the Elves and Larani/Peoni and as a result one can postulate that the Humans have changed the Elvish concept over the years.
[ About the elvish notion of Soul: Tolkien has indeed written an essay on the subject, I'm simply assuming that the Harnic Elves has the same idea about it he has.]
While I'm talking about Elves. The Elves of Harn could be a problem to the HRT. The Elves know for certain that Siem and the other gods exists. Siem has dwelt on Harn, there must still be some Elves left on Harn who remembers him. The Elves can also ,without to much trouble, journey back and forth between Kethira and Yashin and on Yashin they can with their own eyes see the struggle between the hosts of Agrik and Larani. The Elves are therefor able to verify if the Gods are viewed correctly, luckily the Sindar wouldn't do this as it would deprive humanity of it's right to chose to believe or not believe in the existence of the Gods. The Elves themselves and the knowledge of that Siem have spent some time on Harn could be an indirect proof to the Harnic theologians of the existence of Gods, unless one assumes that human knowledge of the nature of the elves is much less widespread than one is lead to believe when one reads GoH. That this is the case, would perhaps be something we could agree upon, for the sake of simplicity...
It would be quite interesting to speculate about how the Elves view the human religions, their politics and ambitions of power, knowing that the Elves themselves know of the true nature of the Gods. Another interesting question is if they view these Gods as Gods or just like powerful spirits.
As I said this is just a draft and I will probably have reason to alter it...
Page last updated: May 31, 2002 by James Chokey