If you give this attitude up and approach it like a Christian, then the fact that the Eretaldian Christians are beyond the reach of Rome becomes of
less importance than the fact that they are *not* beyond the reach of Christ. This is how the uesti remain in contact with humanity. What Christ
the human thinks is of more importance than what the human Elenicoi thought -- Christ is supposed to be the paradigm to which Christians are
supposed to compare themselves, the figure of whom the priest is the vicar. If one is to have such an intimate relationship with Christ, then
either his [literal] alienness is something to be a) wrestled with or b) repressed. How often is he portrayed as *looking* human, for instance?
Don't uesti lack foreskins? What is to be made of *that*?
I understand the Christian point of view— I put in the story many years ago, when I was a believer. I didn't see any real theological problem, nor have any Christians, to my knowledge, been troubled by the issue. As Lewis put it, if Christianity is true then God must be a cosmic God— he isn't blindsided or discomfited by the existence of alien species, he's their God too.
The uesti were obviously people much like those back home— thus, they were rational animals, but fallen. As Christians, the Elenicoi would conclude that God would do something to save them. This could happen several ways:
1) The redemption of Christ could apply to them. It's basically God's rule that incarnating himself as a human and dying would atone for men's sin. If God wants to say it atoned for other species' sin too, who's gonna gainsay him?
2) The Almeans might be redeemed by another act of atonement. Perhaps this took place earlier, perhaps it was to come. Almeans would be redeemed by God's local action, of which Christ's action on earth would be an example and a promise.
3) Or they're redeemed by something else entirely; perhaps the avatar-n-death thing wasn't the only card up God's sleeve.
As a matter of Almean history, the Elenicoi acted as if (1) was the case. They felt that the Miracle of the Translation, and other miracles accompanying their work, fully justified their mission work.
that Eleďát is more or less an alliance of three strands. The position of the Arašei was more like (2) or even (3), and over in Barakhún they don't spend a whole lot of time dealing with Iesu.
Theologically, the big issue wasn't the species issue, but whether the Arašei religion was God's work on Almea, or a devilish trick. That was the big conflict for the Elenicoi, and it was only the intervention of an iliu that tipped the scales toward cooperation.
As for appearance, terrestrial humans and uesti are close enough that the natural thing was to ignore the differences. If you read Herodotus, or medieval legends of the antipodes, Europeans pretty much expected far-off peoples to be a lot funnier-looking than the uesti. And once the Elenicoi died off, of course, all iconography used Almean standards. Iesu (and the Elenicoi) were depicted as if they were Avélans (exactly as medieval Europeans depicted Jesus as a European).
What to do about the other species on Almea was less clear-cut. Eleďát accepts the Arašei belief that the iliu are unfallen, and so the question doesn't come up there. In theory the other races need salvation too, but in practice there is either no opportunity to preach (e.g. to the ktuvoks), or no interest on the other species' part (e.g. the elcari).