Hood College Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

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    The Christian Conversion of Viking Settlers in Britain c.800-1100 CE Through the Lens of a Cultural Theory of Religion
    (2015-05) Squires, Kristen; Wilson, Stephen; Hood College Philosophy and Religious Studies; Hood College Departmental Honors
    Vikings have always captured the interest of the public despite the misconceptions that dictate an inaccurate popular image. While the increasing scholarship over last couple of decades has clarified and resolved some key misconceptions, significant obstacles remain. Some of those issues stem from the lack of primary, useable, and relevant archaeological evidence and others stem from the issue that the majority of written sources were created by Viking-hating Christians. While there was a written Viking language (runes), it was not used for extensive documentation of other cultures. The research on Vikings in England, the area of focus in this composition, is mostly focused on pockets of information rather than a wider and comprehensive demographic. There are sources describing the Norse religion in Scandinavia and there are sources which depict post-settlement Christianity in England. Unfortunately, there are few sources on how the Vikings worshiped their religion in England and what was changed. To makes matters worse, the sources on Christianity in Britain are lacking in the initial conversion of the Britons in addition to the dearth of sources that thoroughly examine laws, societal norms, and religion within the Christian religion at the time of the Viking invasions. Coincidently, the sources depicting the mixed society of Vikings, Christian Vikings, and Christians is inadequate.