> To summarize, the Irish clerics invented a new possibility to explain the
> extraordinary powers of those who might have been, once, known as gods. They
> just created a new orthodoxy after demonization and evhemerism :
> "biblification (?)".
To be more concrete, for those who haven't read Carey's essay,
one strategy for accomodating the old gods in Christian Ireland
went like this, as I undertand it. First, the old gods, esp.
Túatha Dé Danann, come to be viewed as the Otherworld Folk, Áes
Síde, the People of the Hollow Hills. They are not so much gods
as another, and largely immortal, race of beings, who can interact
with human mortals but have a parallel existence. While
establishing this new role for the old gods, it was necessary
to justify it in Christian terms, and the most popular approach
was to see the Áes Síde as either a tribe of humans who escaped
Fil dún, ó thossuch dúile We are, since the beginning of creation,
cen aíss, cen forbthe n-úire. without age, without earthly decay.
Ní frescam de mbeth anguss - We do not expect to grow feeble -
nín táraill int immarbuss. the Fall has not touched us.
- Mannanán speaking in "Immram Brain", Carey's translation
... or as "half-fallen angels" who were expelled from heaven for
not siding with God, but who were not guilty of actual rebellion
and so were not cast down completely.
> So, to come back to Carey, I think that he found the
> good arguments, but that sometimes, his conclusions are not completly
> relevant with what he has presented.
At the beginning of the essay, Carey quotes from two tales in
which early saints, Colum Cille in one, and Finnian in the other,
converse with figures who tell of transmigrating through many
lives and forms in the pre-christian past. To what extent was
transmigration/reincarnation a legitamate theological argument
within Christianity at that time, say, around the 7th century?