Roads to Midgard. Old Norse religion in long-term perspective

Project: Research

Layman's description

What is normally referred to as Old Norse religion is a modern collective term for ritual practices and mental attitudes which have varied considerably over both time and space. This is the basic perspective for this project. With the help of texts, images and material culture, the rituals and conceptual world from the Later Stone Age to the early modern era are investigated in various sub-project

The extensive research on Old Norse religion has first and foremost focused on studies of the mythology of the Viking era, based on the preserved west Nordic literature. This focus on myths and mythology is paradoxical, since the Nordic religion was not a confessional religion with a holy scripture or certain specific dogmatic texts. The preserved texts define religion as ancient usage, that is as a time-honoured way of life. This implies that the religion should be interpreted in a much broader sense than the way in which research on mythology in general has done.

This project therefore has a broader focus on rituals and the conceptual world. The studies are carried out with the help of texts, images and material culture from the early Stone Age to the early modern era.

The basic perspective is that what is normally referred to as Old Norse religion is a modern collective term for ritual practices and mental attitudes, which have varied considerably in both time and space. The aim is to provide a new and greater contribution to both the international discussion on Old Norse religion and the general cultural debate about Nordic and European identity. The project therefore focuses partly on the modern construction of Old Norse Religion and partly on the rituals and conceptual world of the time.

Until now, 11 volumes have been published in the Road to Midgård series by the Nordic Academic Press.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date2000/01/012007/12/31

Participants