Removing the Christian Mask: An Examination of Scandinavian War Cults in Medieval Narratives of Northwestern Europe from the Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages

Removing the Christian Mask: An Examination of Scandinavian War Cults in Medieval Narratives of Northwestern Europe from the Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages

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The aim of this thesis is to de-center Christianity from medieval scholarship in a study of canonized northwestern European war narratives from the late antiquity to the late Middle Ages by unraveling three complex theological frameworks interweaved with Scandinavian polytheistic beliefs. These frameworks are presented in three chapters concerning warrior cults, war rituals, and battle iconography. Beowulf, The History of the Kings of Britain, and additional passages from The Wanderer and The Dream of the Rood are recognized as the primary texts in the study with supporting evidence from An Ecclesiastical History of the English People, eighth-century eddaic poetry, thirteenth-century Icelandic and Nordic sagas, and Le Morte d'Arthur. The study consistently found that it is necessary to alter current pedagogical habits in order to better develop the study of theology in medieval literature by avoiding the conciliatory practice of reading for Christian hegemony.Therefore, it is imperative that medieval scholars examine religion regionally rather than as a collective unit. ... native theological art forms must be differentiated regionally from within canonical medieval works like Beowulf and The History of the Kings of Britain. ... of religion or aspects of the divine are externalized in corporeal form, which consists of paintings, sculptures, and, above all, literature.


Title:Removing the Christian Mask: An Examination of Scandinavian War Cults in Medieval Narratives of Northwestern Europe from the Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages
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Publisher:ProQuest - 2008
ISBN-13:

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