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April 12, 2010 Business as Usual Midterm II in class, next Wed, April 21 If you have not brought in paperwork for Review in class next Monday If you need special accommodations please inform us ASAP, in writing excused absences, please do so ASAP If you are missing quizzes, come to my office hours to have them rereleased DuBois Achieving Faith Importance of Christianity Christian aspects of Norse texts as an important and integral part of Norse religion and discussion thereof not a removable taint or layer Provide examples of particular functions paganism acquired within Christian philosophical and literary tradition Give insight into complex relations between paganism and Christianity in the generation following conversion Question
Why must we always keep Christianity in mind when reading the sagas, even if they take place in pagan times, before conversion? A) Because many of the characters are Christian B) Because all the writers are Christian C) Because some of the writers may be pagan D) We don't, it is only important for some sagas laf not aided by physical appearances nor lafs saga Tryggvasonar visions but by good luck and miracles "Willing" acceptance of baptism key to salvation laf's prime opponent inn himself, not the devil or the devil as inn Important for Snorri as an Icelander to portray laf (the king who converted Iceland) in positive light without depicting Norwegians (who rejected laf) negatively Norwegian court as Snorri's intended audience VgaGlms saga Christian author's portrayal of a proud and vengeful society which can accept its failings only with final acceptance of Christianity Pagan behaviors embody Christian sin Raises questions about "truthfulness" Merging of history, religion, and literature Direct correlation between arrogance and trust in pagan gods Final salvation by conversion at saga's end Portrayal of the progressive nature of Christianization in times of conversion Process necessitating royal commission, personal espousal, and gradual consolidation of society under the rules of the church (192) Calculated attempt to present Gur in idealized, subservient, and saintly light Important to acknowledge that the account of Leif as King laf's missionary is fictional
Calls for a strong central Christian figure Gur, ancestor of bishops and mother of Snorri ("inheritor" to Vinland) the ideal candidate Part of a bigger picture, literary and political The Vinland Sagas For Recitations: Folktales Icelandic Folktales 1. 2. 3. What connections to Pagan religion and/ or mythology do you see? Do you see paganism and Christianity merging in any way? Drangey Consecrated Tales of Smundur Fri Tale of a Raven Schedule
Readings: DuBois, Chapter 8 "Achieving Faith: Christian Themes and Pagan Functions" Srensen, "Religions Old and New," pp 218224 Icelandic folktales: "Drangey Consecrated," Tales of Smundur the Learned," "Tale of a Raven" Tuesday: Quiz from DuBois, Srensen and the folktales Wednesday: Srensen, "Religions Old and New" Recitations: Close reading of folktales ...
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