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Basic Information

Monolatry ("single worship") is a theological position between that of monotheism and henotheism - that is, whilst it acknowledges that there may be (or are) multiple divine powers in existence, only one of these deities is an appropriate target for worship, either generally or for a specific ethno-cultural group. Historically, this is the position taken by Judaism - other deities may exist, but only HaShem may be worshipped.

In terms of divine presences, a Monolatrous faith requires a deity which has all of the bases covered (or at least all of those belonging to the worshipping culture) and which exercises a partisan claim on one or more ethno-cultural groups or regions. To leave a necessary portfolio uncovered would suggest a requirement for additional gods, whilst to make a universal claim of authority would effectively make the religion a monotheism (if is never appropriate to worship one of the other "gods" then they are not, in fact, gods). Presumably such a being has personal power on a par with at least a single pantheon of other deities (or a demesne that is simply not very attractive to them) or they would be faced with having their worshippers poached by other powers.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • Expect tension with the followers (and possibly members) of other pantheons, not impressed with having their gods (or indeed selves) so cavalierly dismissed.
  • Expect also the worship of foreign gods to be explicitly a sin in this context … possibly even something close to blasphemy.
    • It may, however, be entirely acceptable for foreigners - a monolatrous nation may not expect - or even want - visiting foreigners to worship their god (again, using Judaism as an example, the outermost layer of the Jerusalem temple was the Court of the Gentiles - this was the furthest that anyone not belonging to Israel was permitted to enter).
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