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The Norse Religion


Norse religion describes the religious conventions of the Norsemen before the Christianization of Scandinavia, particularly during what is commonly known as Viking Age. It is purely folk religion that existed even without being formalized and neither was it categorized as a part of Germanic paganism to a point where it was defined by outsiders who met the native practitioners. It was the northern changes of the religion that was practiced in the lands occupied by the Germanic people across a big part of the Central and Northern Europe before the Holy Roman and Roman incursions.

Fundamentals of Norse religion

The knowledge concerning Norse religion is mainly drawn from the archaeological field study results, historic written materials and etymology since it was mainly as a result of the historic people who did not particularly have written history. In some literary works such as Beowulf, a lot of beliefs were defined through the Norse mythology. It dictated how people got buried and how they perceived violence and war.

In the mythology of Norse religion, the honor of an individual is based upon the manner in which they will die. A hero makes a proof of himself by dying while in fight against the forces of darkness and not by overcoming it. For most the world’s religions, the fundamental mythology is used to describe the world where an individual lives. According to the Anglo-Saxons, the universe was filled with violence and war.

Norse Religion concept

Norse mythology makes an effort to explain the universe and provides a justification of the kind of persons that they are. The goddesses and the gods as well lie in an environment that is hostile, mostly filled with violence and war. The Viking gods referring to the Norse gods were believed to be passionate, violent and ardent just like the people who formed them. They showed off qualities valued by Vikings by themselves. Such qualities included those of anger, lust, guile, brutality, strength and humor among others.

The Norse religion was a phenomenon of culture and just like many pre-literate folk beliefs – those who practiced it lacked a name to call their religion until a time when they met competitors or other outsiders. Therefore, the only religious titles given to Norse faith are the ones that others used to define it in a way that was competitive, normally in a context that was aggressive. As a result such names as hedendom in the Scandinavian, Heathery in English, Heidentum in German and Pagan in Latin came up.

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