Saturday, March 25, 2017

Cosmology


PANTHEON? WHAT PANTHEON?

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This article might be regarded as a follow-up to several other papers and articles that the present author has presented in recent years on the subject of religious change and diversity in the Nordic countries during the Migration Period and Viking Age (see, for example, Gunnell 2007, 2010,2013 and forthcoming a). The papers in question echo in […]

‘Edda and “Oral Christianity”: Apocryphal Leaves of the Early Medieval Storyworld of the North’

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Until the end of the eleventh century Scandinavia was still to a large extent an unknown and frightening world to the Western Church. From around 1100, however, under the age of the crusading movement, it quickly became a firmly integrated part of Latin Christianity and of the culture of Carolingian heritage This transformation of Northern […]

We Need To Talk About Gefjun: Toward a new etymology of an Old Icelandic theonym

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The name of a deity often reveals something of their character, and can shed light on obscure elements in the mythology. Unfortunately the prehistory of a word is itself often obscure, and care must be taken not to project a meaning onto a word that was never truly there. The goddess name Gefjun has long […]

The Imperative Way

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This paper addresses a category of archaeological remains or monuments called “field labyrinths”. These monuments are often described as “mysterious” monuments since little is known about when or why they were created, and what their inherent meaning is or was. Although they seem to have been connected to ritual, cult and superstition, older Scandinavian written […]

Studying Religion-Concepts, Methods and Dilemmas

 
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My paper aims at addressing some of the problems and challenges faced by the study of religion(s) and at presenting briefly the academic context of that study. Originally published: (February, 2009) Confluence. Iterdisciplinary Communications 2007/2009.  Willy Østreng (ed). Centre for Advanced Study. http://www.cas.uio.no/publications_/confluence.php

Vafþrúðnismál and Grímnismál: Cosmic History, Cosmic Geography

 
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Óðinn is the protagonist of both these poems, which follow Hávamál in the Codex Regius. In Vafþrúðnismál he visits teh giant Vafþrúðnir in disguise to compete with him in a wisdom-contest in which the stake is the loser´s head.  Once he has established (by posing some questions about mythological facts) that Óðinn is a worthy […]

Ritual Space. Ritual Year. Ritual Gender: A View of the Old Norse and New Icelandic Ritual Year

 
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The roots of this paper go back in part to a short chapter I was recently asked to write fora  book about Iceland in the present day.  In the chapter in question, which dealt with modern day Icelandic festivals, I underlined the importance of the sense of family for Icelandic society, and not least the […]

Goddesses Unknown I: Njǫrun and the Sister-Wife of Njǫrðr

 
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The present article attempts to fill a gap in modern Old Norse scholarship by presenting overviews of two highly mysterious figures, the apparent goddess Njǫrun and the unnamed wife  and  sister  of  the  major  god  Njǫrðr.  In doing so, this article thematically connects with previous discussion of the Vanir found in earlier issues of RMN Newsletter. Originally Published: […]