The Pre-Christian Religions of the North

Research and Reception, Volume II: From c. 1830 to the Present

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Margaret Clunies Ross
The Pre-Christian Religions of the North Series
  • Turnhot, Belgium: 
    Brepols Publishers
    , January
     635 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Ethan Doyle White forthcoming.


This book reveals the various ways people have understood or reacted to Scandinavian paganism from the Middle Ages to today.

Over more than a thousand years since pre-Christian religions were actively practised, European – and later contemporary – society has developed a fascination with the beliefs of northern Europe before the arrival of Christianity, which have been the subject of a huge range of popular and scholarly theories, interpretations, and uses. Indeed, the pre-Christian religions of the North have exerted a phenomenal influence on modern culture, appearing in everything from the names of days of the week to Hollywood blockbusters. Scholarly treatments have been hardly less varied. Theories – from the Middles Ages until today – have depicted these pre-Christian religious systems as dangerous illusions, the works of Satan, representatives of a lost proto-Indo-European religious culture, a form of ‘natural’ religion, and even as a system non-indigenous in origin, derived from cultures outside Europe. 

The Research and Reception strand of the Pre-Christian Religions of the North project establishes a definitive survey of the current and historical uses and interpretations of pre-Christian mythology and religious material, tracing the many ways in which people both within and outside Scandinavia have understood and been influenced by these religions, from the Christian Middle Ages to contemporary media of all kinds. The previous volume (I) traced the reception down to the early nineteenth century, while the present volume (II) takes up the story from c. 1830 down to the present day and the burgeoning of interest across a diversity of new as well as old media.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Margaret Clunies Ross is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Sydney.


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