northern belief about religion

[55] The Scandinavian Iron Age began around 500 to 400 BCE. [284] However, there are exceptions. [298] Scholarly interest in the subject then revived in the late 20th century. [28] Although found across the Viking world, Mjöllnir pendants are most commonly found in graves from modern Denmark, south-eastern Sweden, and southern Norway; their wide distribution suggests the particular popularity of Thor. [137], The vættir, spirits of the land, were thought to inhabit certain rocks, waterfalls, mountains, and trees, and offerings were made to them. 5, 11–12. [260][262] In Víga-Glúms saga, the field Vitazgjafi (certain giver) is associated with Freyr and similarly not to be defiled. [145] Most scholars believe the jǫtnar were not worshipped, although this has been questioned. [101] The historian Judith Jesch suggested that following Christianisation, there remained a "cultural paganism", the re-use of pre-Christian myth "in certain cultural and social contexts" that are officially Christian. Steeples g… From this emerged two realms, the icy, misty Niflheim and the fire-filled Muspell, the latter ruled over by fire-giant, Surtr. It was replaced by Christianity during the Christianization of Scandinavia. [162] These picture stones, produced in mainland Scandinavia during the Viking Age, are the earliest known visual depictions of Norse mythological scenes. [56], Archaeological evidence is particularly important for understanding these early periods. [17], Old Norse religion has been classed as an ethnic religion,[18] and as a "non-doctrinal community religion". [175], In mythological accounts, the deity most closely associated with death is Oðinn. [158] The Ragnarok story suggests that the idea of an inescapable fate pervaded Norse world-views. For example, at Hove in Trøndelag, Norway, offerings were placed at a row of posts bearing images of gods. [155] Snorri also relates that Hel and the frost-giants live under two of the roots but places the gods, rather than humanity, under the third root. [193][204] For example, at Birka a decapitated young man was placed atop an older man buried with weapons, and at Gerdrup, near Roskilde, a woman was buried alongside a man whose neck had been broken. Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, mentions some of their deities through perceived Roman equivalents, "Fragments of the Past: How to Study Old Norse Religion", "Valhall and Helgafell: Syncretistic Traits of the Old Norse Religion", Sacred trees and groves in Germanic paganism and mythology, Mythological Norse people, items and places, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Old_Norse_religion&oldid=984630913, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from September 2017, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 21 October 2020, at 05:12. [198] It is possible that some of the bog bodies recovered from peat bogs in northern Germany and Denmark and dated to the Iron Age were human sacrifices. Complete cure or even the slightest improvement in a malady or illness is viewed as a miracle. Because their ancestral lands are evergreen forests, the Haida became skilled woodcarvers. The Chinook believed in animal spirits -- the coyote and blue jay, in particular -- and also in guardian spirits. [224], Grave goods feature in both inhumation and cremation burials. Andrén, "Old Norse and Germanic Religion", p. 853. [163] The concept of Hel as an afterlife location never appears in pagan-era skaldic poetry, where "Hel" always references to the eponymous goddess. [136] It is uncertain whether they were worshipped. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Lost Beliefs of Northern Europe. [182], The primary religious ritual in Norse religion appears to have been sacrifice, or blót. Private, albeit not public, pagan sacrifices and rites were to remain legal. Shamans wore decorative masks and went into trances while performing healing rituals. [33] In addition there is information about pagan beliefs and practices in the sagas, which include both historical sagas such as Snorri Sturluson's Heimskringla and the Landnámabók, recounting the settlement and early history of Iceland, and the so-called sagas of Icelanders concerning Icelandic individuals and groups; there are also more or less fantastical legendary sagas. The Chinook are a Pacific Northwest tribe from the Columbia River in Washington and Oregon. [148] It is possible that they were developed during the encounter with Christianity, as pagans sought to establish a creation myth complex enough to rival that of Christianity. It may have had links to Nordic Bronze Age: while the putatively solar-oriented belief system of Bronze Age Scandinavia is believed to have died out around 500 BCE, a number of Bronze Age motifs—such as the wheel cross—reappear in later Iron Age contexts. One of these laws is the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to free religious choice. [133], There are also likely to have been local and family fertility cults; we have one reported example from pagan Norway in the family cult of Vǫlsi, where some deity called Mǫrnir is invoked. [290], The two religious symbols may have co-existed closely; one piece of archaeological evidence suggesting that this is the case is a soapstone mould for casting pendants discovered from Trengården in Denmark. [224][225] Both cremations and inhumations are found throughout Scandinavia,[224][226] but in Viking Age Iceland there were inhumations but, with one possible exception, no cremations. [241] Seiðr was associated with the Vanic goddess Freyja; according to a euhemerized account in Ynglinga saga, she taught seiðr to the Æsir,[242] but it involved so much ergi ("unmanliness, effeminacy") that other than Odin himself, its use was reserved to priestesses. [10] It is often regarded as having developed from earlier religious belief systems found among the Germanic Iron Age peoples. [58] Tacitus described the Germanic peoples as having a priestly caste, open-air sacred sites, and an emphasis on sacrifice (including human), augury, and fortune telling. [183] Many texts, both Old Norse and other, refer to sacrifices. People sat on hard wooden benches for most of the day, which was how long the church services usually lasted. Filipino families greatly influence patients’ decisions about health care. For example, "theism" is any religion that contains god(s), and "polytheism" is a form of theism. 853, 855. Transmitted through oral culture rather than through codified texts, Old Norse religion focused heavily on ritual practice, with kings and chiefs playing a central role in carrying out public acts of sacrifice. [23], During the Viking Age, the Norse likely regarded themselves as a more or less unified entity through their shared Germanic language, Old Norse. [155] Grímnismál also claims that Yggdrasil has three roots; under one resides the goddess Hel, under another the frost-giants, and under the third humanity. [16] The earliest known usage of the Old Norse term heiðinn is in the poem Hákonarmál; its uses here indicates that the arrival of Christianity has generated consciousness of Old Norse religion as a distinct religion. [97] For two centuries, Scandinavian ecclesiastics continued to condemn paganism, although it is unclear whether it still constituted a viable alternative to Christian dominance. Jónas Gíslason "Acceptance of Christianity in Iceland in the Year 1000 (999)", in: Simek, "Þorgerðr Hǫlgabrúðr", pp. Members of other Christian churches comprised 5.8%, 17% stated they have no religion or did not state a religion, and members of non-Christian religions were 0.8%. In both Landnámabók and Eyrbyggja saga, members of a family who particularly worshipped Thor are said to have passed after death into the mountain Helgafell (holy mountain), which was not to be defiled by bloodshed or excrement, or even to be looked at without washing first. The meetinghouse, which served secular functions as well as religious, was a small wood building located in the center of town. [65] There are no place-names connected to Odin on the island. Snorri's Prologue eumerises the Æsir as Trojans, deriving Æsir from Asia, and some scholars have suspected that many of the stories that we only have from him are also derived from Christian medieval culture. Norse cosmology revolved around a world tree known as Yggdrasil, with various realms existing alongside that of humans, named Midgard. Motz, "Giants in Folklore and Mythology: A New Approach". [185] There may have been many methods of sacrifice: a number of textual accounts refer to the body or head of the slaughtered animal being hung on a pole or tree. The Protestant Reformation was a religious movement that occurred in Western Europe during the 16th century that resulted in the theological divide between Roman Catholics and Protestants. [110][104] In particular, there may have been influences from interactions with other peoples, including northern Slavs, Finns, and Anglo-Saxons,[111] and Christian mythology exerted an increasing influence.[110][112]. In 1966, based on the results of a comprehensive archaeological survey of most of Scandinavia, the Danish archaeologist Olaf Olsen proposed the model of the "temple farm": that rather than the hof being a dedicated building, a large longhouse, especially that of the most prominent farmer in the district, served as the location for community cultic celebrations when required. [286], The most widespread religious symbol in Viking Age Old Norse religion was Mjöllnir, the hammer of Thor. Some mythographers have suggested that this myth was based on recollection of a conflict in Scandinavia between adherents of different belief systems;[122][123] in Georges Dumézil's tripartite theory both the war and the division of the pantheon into two groups are related to Indo-European parallels, with the Vanir exemplifying the second "function", that of fertility and the cycle of life and death. [273] The building site at Hofstaðir, near Mývatn in Iceland, which was a particular focus of Olsen's work, has since been re-excavated and the layout of the building and further discoveries of the remains of ritually slaughtered animals now suggest that it was a cult house until ritually abandoned. Numerous Old Norse works dated to the 13th century record Norse mythology, a component of North Germanic religion. [91] A primary motivation for kings converting was the desire for support from Christian rulers, whether as money, imperial sanction, or military support. [104] Snorri was also part of this revived interest, examining pagan myths from his perspective as a cultural historian and mythographer. [121] This practice has been interpreted as heathen past influenced by the Christian cult of the saints. Many Icelanders were angered by Þangbrandr's proselytising, and he was outlawed after killing several poets who insulted him. Andrén, "Old Norse and Germanic Religion", p. 849. [152] A river produced by these realms coagulated to form Ymir, while a cow known as Audumbla then appeared to provide him with milk. Since the Haida believed that everything had a spiritual aspect, these gatherings often had a religious atmosphere. Various forms of burial were conducted, including both inhumation and cremation, typically accompanied by a variety of grave goods. Julie Lund, (2010). The potlatch was a big part of social life in the Pacific Northwest. [230], Ship burial is also mentioned twice in the Old Norse literary-mythic corpus. [147], Several accounts of the Old Norse cosmogony, or creation myth, appear in surviving textual sources, but there is no evidence that these were certainly produced in the pre-Christian period. [305], "Norse religion" redirects here. Their beliefs were based in animism, where the natural world interacts with a supernatural world. In Tlingit culture, shamans played a crucial role. The Moravian Church is a denomination within the Protestant religion and Moravians share the same core beliefs, including that Jesus Christ was born, died, and resurrected. "Evolving Traditions: Horse Slaughter as Part of Viking Burial Customs in Iceland", in. [279][275] A number of these central places have place-names with cultic associations, such as Gudme (home of gods), Vä (vé), and Helgö (holy island). The religion of the peoples of Northern Europe ultimately derives from the same Indo-European source as those of the Celts and of early Rome, and like them, was influenced by the religions of the peoples wh… [164] Unlike Christianity, Old Norse religion does not appear to have adhered to the belief that moral concerns impacted an individual's afterlife destination. [202][256], Cult practices often took place outdoors. Old Norse religion, also known as Norse paganism, is the most common name for a branch of Germanic religion which developed during the Proto-Norse period, when the North Germanic peoples separated into a distinct branch of the Germanic peoples. Beginning in the 5th century, the nature of the wetland deposits changed; in Scandinavia, fibulae and bracteates were placed in or beside wetlands from the 5th to the mid-6th centuries, and again beginning in the late 8th century,[211] when weapons as well as jewellery, coins and tools again began to be deposited, the practice lasting until the early 11th century. Shannon Leigh O'Neil, a New York City-based arts and culture writer, has been writing professionally since 2008. [228] In many cases, the grave goods and other features of the grave reflect social stratification, particularly in the cemeteries at market towns such as Hedeby and Kaupang. Excavated examples include the Oseberg ship burial near Tønsberg in Norway, another at Klinta on Öland,[229] and the Sutton Hoo ship burial in England. [155] [190], In the Eddic poem "Hyndluljóð", Freyja expresses appreciation for the many sacrifices of oxen made to her by her acolyte, Óttar. That being said, most Native American religions share a set of common features. [289], Gods and goddesses were depicted through figurines, pendants, fibulas, and as images on weapons. [208][209][210] In the early centuries of the Common Era, huge numbers of destroyed weapons were placed in wetlands: mostly spears and swords, but also shields, tools, and other equipment. [300], Research into Old Norse religion has been interdisciplinary, involving historians, archaeologists, philologists, place-name scholars, literary scholars, and historians of religion. Different from other denominations, the top five identifying beliefs of evangelical Christians are: SPECIAL: Prayer Changes Your Brain in 4 … [239] In contrast seiðr and the related spæ, which could involve both magic and divination,[240] were practised mostly by women, known as vǫlur and spæ-wives, often in a communal gathering at a client's request. 853–54. They had contact with Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist evangelists and were greatly influenced by these religions. Generosity, in the Native American tradition, is a religious act as well as a social one. Although freedom of religion is well established and practiced, some religious preference is given by the government. [37], One important written source is Snorri's Prose Edda, which incorporates a manual of Norse mythology for the use of poets in constructing kennings; it also includes numerous citations, some of them the only record of lost poems,[38] such as Þjóðólfr of Hvinir's Haustlǫng. [95] For those living in isolated areas, pre-Christian beliefs likely survived longer,[96] while others continued as survivals in folklore. There are documented accounts of encounters with both Thor and Odin, along with a belief in Freja's power over fertility. [149] [71] Several place-names also contain Old Norse references to mythological entities, such as alfr, skratii, and troll. [129], Ancestral deities were common among Finno-Ugric peoples, and remained a strong presence among the Finns and Sámi after Christianisation. [60], During the Viking Age, Norse people left Scandinavia and settled elsewhere throughout Northwestern Europe. Religion Religious Beliefs. [21], Place-names are an additional source of evidence. Hedeager, "Scandinavian 'Central Places'", p. 7. [180][181] Sources mention some rituals addressed to particular deities, but understanding of the relationship between Old Norse ritual and myth remains speculative. [237][238] Charms, often associated with the runes, were a central part of the treatment of disease in both humans and livestock in Old Norse society. [83] Haakon Sigurdsson later became the de facto ruler of Norway, and although he agreed to be baptised under pressure from the Danish king and allowed Christians to preach in the kingdom, he enthusiastically supported pagan sacrificial customs, asserting the superiority of the traditional deities and encouraging Christians to return to their veneration. [146] The Eddic jǫtnar have parallels with their later folkloric counterparts, although unlike them they have much wisdom. Recent Historiography on Religion and the Civil War by Bruce Gourley (section 3 of 9) Northern Religion and the Civil War. The Landnámabók refers to two women holding the position of gyðja, both of whom were members of local chiefly families. 81 entries are listed here. [298] Since this research appeared from the background of European romanticism, many of the scholars operating in the nineteenth and twentieth century framed their approach through nationalism, and were strongly influenced in their interpretations by romantic notions about nationhood, conquest, and religion. 326–27. [192][64] There may also be markers by which we can distinguish sacrifices to Odin,[193] who was associated with hanging,[194] and some texts particularly associate the ritual killing of a boar with sacrifices to Freyr;[194] but in general, archaeology is unable to identify the deity to whom a sacrifice was made. [283] Most evidence suggests that public cultic activity was largely the preserve of high-status males in Old Norse society. 867). 178–80. A revival of interest in Old Norse religion occurred amid the romanticist movement of the nineteenth century, during which it inspired a range of artworks. [155] It also claims that a serpent gnaws at its roots while a deer grazes from its higher branches; a squirrel runs between the two animals, exchanging messages. [43][44] In addition, Muslim Arabs wrote accounts of Norse people they encountered, the best known of which is Ibn Fadlan's 10th-century Risala, an account of Volga Viking traders that includes a detailed description of a ship burial. [105] As a result, Norse mythology "long outlasted any worship of or belief in the gods it depicts". In the early 19th century, the Lewis and Clark Expedition made contact with the Chinook and described them as a peaceful, prosperous people. Like other natives in the region, the Chinook had shamans who performed rituals and communicated with the spirit world. Quakers, or the Religious Society of Friends, was founded in England in the 17th century by George Fox and played a key role in abolition and women’s suffrage. [144] Gods marry giantesses but giants' attempts to couple with goddesses are repulsed. [297], During the romanticist movement of the nineteenth century, various northern Europeans took an increasing interest in Old Norse religion, seeing in it an ancient pre-Christian mythology that provided an alternative to the dominant Classical mythology. Of the originally heathen works, we cannot know what changes took place either during oral transmission or as a result of their being recorded by Christians;[34][35] the sagas of Icelanders, in particular, are now regarded by most scholars as more or less historical fiction rather than as detailed historical records. (, Turville-Petre, pp. [85] Haakon was killed in 995 and Olaf Tryggvason, the next king, took power and enthusiastically promoted Christianity; he forced high-status Norwegians to convert, destroyed temples, and killed those he called 'sorcerers'. [157], The Ragnarok story survives in its fullest exposition in Völuspá, although elements can also be seen in earlier poetry. [296] These symbols may have a specific association with Oðinn, because they often accompany images of warriors on picture stones. [50][49], Some place-names contain elements indicating that they were sites of religious activity: those formed with -vé, -hörgr, and -hof, words for cult sites of various kinds,[51] and also likely those formed with -akr or -vin, words for "field", when coupled with the name of a deity. Old Norse religion was polytheistic, entailing a belief in various gods and goddesses. [173] In these thirteenth century sources, ghosts (Draugr) are capable of haunting the living. [184] The description of the temple at Uppsala in Adam of Bremen's History includes an account of a festival every nine years at which nine males of every kind of animal were sacrificed and the bodies hung in the temple grove. Throughout its history, varying levels of trans-cultural diffusion occurred among neighbouring peoples, such as the Sami and Finns. The Moravian Church is sometimes confused as its own religion, one that is similar to the Mormon or Amish faiths, but in fact it's not a separate religion. Filipino older adults tend to cope with illness with the help of family and friends, and by faith in God. [96], By the 12th century, Christianity was firmly established across Northwestern Europe. The 2011 UK census showed 40.8% Catholic, 19.1% Presbyterian Church, with the Church of Ireland having 13.7% and the Methodist Church 5.0%. The earliest of these, Tacitus' Germania, dates to around 100 CE[40] and describes religious practices of several Germanic peoples, but has little coverage of Scandinavia. Net lexical database for the goddesses is Ásynjur, which is properly the of. 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