Nordic Religions in the Viking Age

Nordic Religions in the Viking Age

2.0 1
by Thomas DuBois
     
 

ISBN-10: 0812217144

ISBN-13: 9780812217148

Pub. Date: 08/28/1999

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.

The popular image of the Viking as a horn-helmeted berserker plying the ocean in a dragon-headed long boat is firmly fixed in history. Imagining Viking "conquerors" as much more numerous, technologically superior, and somehow inherently more warlike than their neighbors has overshadowed the cooperation and cultural exchange which characterized much of the Viking

Overview

The popular image of the Viking as a horn-helmeted berserker plying the ocean in a dragon-headed long boat is firmly fixed in history. Imagining Viking "conquerors" as much more numerous, technologically superior, and somehow inherently more warlike than their neighbors has overshadowed the cooperation and cultural exchange which characterized much of the Viking Age. In actuality, the Norse explorers and traders were players in a complex exchange of technology, customs, and religious beliefs between the ancient pre-Christian societies of northern Europe and the Christian-dominated nations surrounding the Mediterranean.

DuBois examines Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, and Mediterranean traditions to locate significant Nordic parallels in conceptions of supernatural beings, cults of the dead, beliefs in ghosts, and magical practices. These beliefs were actively held alongside Christianity for many years, and were finally incorporated into the vernacular religious practice. The Icelandic sagas reflect this complex process in their inclusion of both Christian and pagan details.

This work differs from previous examinations in its inclusion of the Christian thirteenth century as part of the evolution of Nordic religions from localized pagan cults to adherents of a larger Roman faith.

Thomas DuBois unravels for the first time the history of the Nordic religions in the Viking Age and shows how these ancient beliefs and their oral traditions incorporated both a myriad of local beliefs and aspects of foreign religions, most notably Christianity.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812217148
Publisher:
University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
Publication date:
08/28/1999
Series:
The Middle Ages Series
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
478,484
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.06(d)

Table of Contents

Prefaceix
Introduction: Communities of Belief1
Chapter 1The Cultures and History of the Viking-Age North9
Chapter 2Religions in the Viking Age: Contexts and Concepts for Analysis29
Chapter 3Gods, Guides, and Guardians: Spiritual Aids45
Chapter 4Visitors from Beyond: Death, Afterlife, and the Problem of Ghosts69
Chapter 5Concepts of Health and Healing93
Chapter 6The Intercultural Dimensions of the Seior Ritual121
Chapter 7The Coming of the Cross: Religious and Artistic Effects139
Chapter 8Achieving Faith: Christian Themes and Pagan Functions173
Epilogue205
Glossary207
Notes211
Bibliography233
Index259

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Nordic Religions in the Viking Age 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While the subject matter is facinating, and there is some useful information, the author is another that believes that all roads in religion lead to Christianity. While the Nordic people at the end of the Viking Age did convert, for the most part it was not for religious reasons as the author seems to think. His writing also betrays a bias that Christianity is the end all and be all of religion and that the Heathen people of Norden were incomplete until its coming. In my opinion this book is better borrowed from the library than purchased.