Removing the Christian mask: an examination of Scandinavian war cults in Medieval narratives of northwestern Europe from the late Antiquity to the Middle Ages

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Matthew Joseph Pettit (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Amy Vines

Abstract: 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.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
Anglo-Saxon, Beowulf, History of the Kings of Britain, Medieval Canon, Modern Pedagogy, Scandinavian
Scandinavian literature $x Study and teaching.
Epic poetry, English (Old) $x Study and teaching.
Christianity and literature $z Great Britain.
Christianity and literature $z Scandinavia.
Mythology, Norse, in literature.
Civilization, Anglo-Saxon, in literature.
Scandinavia $x In literature.
Military history, Medieval, in literature.
Theology in literature.
Religion in literature.

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