signalsofbeliefTitle:Signals of Belief in Early England: Anglo-Saxon Paganism Revisited
Author:Martin Carver (Author, Editor), Alex Sanmark (Editor), Sarah Semple (Editor)
Gemre:Historical research
Publ.Oxbow Books
This volume will throw new light on the intellect of the earliest English - the way they thought, the way they viewed the world, and the way they viewed worlds other than this. Previous understanding of the topic, well rooted in the ideas of its time, regarded the English as adherents of two consecutive religions: Paganism governed the settlers of the 4th-6th century, but was superseded in the 7th-10th century by Christianity. Of the two, Christianity, a religion of the book, documented itself thoroughly, while in failing to do so Paganism laid itself open to centuries of abuse, conjecture or mindless admiration. In developing new objectives, the papers here demonstrate that beliefs varied from place to place and were expressed in material culture. Through archaeology therefore, these beliefs can be rediscovered. Aware of the fact that even the best archaeology provides no open access to the mind, the contributors record, and study, signals of belief rather than what was believed. The premise of this volume is therefore that paganism was not a religion with supraregional rules and institutions but a loose term for a variety of local intellectual world views. The same courtesy is extended to Christianity. Both religions are treated as sources on which people, local people - the true agents of Anglo-Saxon England - eclectically drew. A range of material culture and locations across Northern Europe are explored, looking at signals of belief from the landscape, water cults, burial rites, the hall and animals in life and art. Each author looks across the sea to Scandinavia, as well as to the woods and fields, mires and mounds of Old England, resulting in a new perspective on the intellectual preoccupations and anxieties of a crucial age.
paganismdowdenTitle:European Paganism: The Realities of Cult from Antiquity to the Middle Ages
Author:Ken Dowden
Gemre:Historical research
Publ.Routledge Chapman & Hall
European Paganism provides a comprehensive and accessible overview of ancient pagan religions throughout the European continent. Before there where Christians, the peoples of Europe were pagans. Were they bloodthirsty savages hanging human offerings from trees? Were they happy ecologists, valuing the unpolluted rivers and mountains? In European Paganism Ken Dowden outlines and analyses the diverse aspects of pagan ritual and culture from human sacrifice to pilgrimage lunar festivals and tree worship. It includes: * a 'timelines' chart to aid with chronology * many quotations from ancient and modern sources translated from the original language where necessary, to make them accessible * a comprehensive bibliography and guide to further reading.
paganschristiansTitle:Pagans and Christians: The Interplay Between Christian Latin and Traditional Germanic Cultures in Early Medieval Europe : Proceedings of the Second Germania Latina conferenc (Mediaevalia Groningana)
Author:Tette Hofstra (Author), L. A. J. R. Houwen (Author, Editor), & others
Gemre:Historical research
Publ.John Benjamins Pub Co
The interplay between, on the one hand, the Christian and Latin culture of the Church in the early Middle Ages, and, on the other, the traditional and pagan culture of the Germanic peoples, has always been a theme of fundamental importance in the study of Old Germanic. In the interpretation of literary works, the stress laid upon Germanic paganism in particular has over the years tended to vary, in proportion to the inclinations of individual scholars and to prevailing circumstances. At the present time, as the contributions to the present book testify, scholars evince very considerable circumspection before advancing claims for pagan elements in the cultural products of the various Old Germanic peoples. Nonetheless, the subject remains a fascinating one for all students of these early vernacular literatures.