Book Series The Pre-Christian Religions of the North

The Pre-Christian Religions of the North

History and Structures

Jens Peter Schjødt, John Lindow, Anders Andrén (eds)

  • Pages:4 vols, lxviii + 2122 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:297 b/w, 3 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2020

Temporarily Out of Stock
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-57489-9
  • Hardback
  • Temporarily Out of Stock
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-57491-2
  • E-book
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A comprehensive overview of the religious history and world view of pre-Christian Scandinavia.


“This publication is an excellent resource and will be a valuable reference work for many years to come.” (Peter S. Wells, in The Medieval Review, 21.08.31)

“This major publication, marking cooperation between numerous scholars with different areas of expertise but all with in-depth knowledge of religions in the North, forms a notable contribution to research and should continue to do so for many years to come.” (ALEXANDRA SANMARK, in Medieval Archaeology, 67/1, 2023, p. 231)


The product of an international interdisciplinary team, the History and Structures strand of the Pre-Christian Religion of the North series aims to approach the subject by giving equal weight to archaeological and textual sources, taking into consideration recent theories on religion within all the disciplines that are needed in order to gain a comprehensive view of the religious history and world view of pre-Christian Scandinavia from the perspective of the beginning of the twenty-first century.

Volume I presents the basic premises of the study and a consideration of the sources: memory and oral tradition, written sources, religious vocabulary, place names and personal names, archaeology, and images.

Volume II treats the social, geographical, and historical contexts in which the religion was practiced and through which it can be understood. This volume also includes communication between worlds, primarily through various ritual structures.

Volume III explores conceptual frameworks: the cosmos and collective supernatural beings (notions regarding the cosmos and regarding such collective supernatural beings as the norns, valkyries, giants, and dwarfs) and also gods and goddesses (including Þórr, Óðinn, Freyr, Freyja, and many others).

Volume IV describes the process of Christianization in the Nordic region and also includes a bibliography and indices for the entire four-volume work.



Volume 1. Introductory and Sources

Jens Peter Schjødt, John Lindow, Anders Andrén, Preface & Introduction
Jens Peter Schjødt, Theoretical Considerations
Pernille Hermann, Memory, Oral Tradition, and Sources
John Lindow, Written Sources
John Lindow, Language: Religious Vocabulary
Per Vikstrand, Language: Placenames and Personal Names
Anders Andrén, Archaeology
Anders Andrén, Images
Terry Gunnell, Folklore
Anders Andrén, The Spatial and Temporal Frame
John Lindow, The Linguistic Frame
Jens Peter Schjødt, Continuity and Break: Indo-European
Jens Peter Schjødt, Continuity and Break: Germanic
Rudolf Simek, Encounters: Roman
Matthias Egeler, Encounters: Celtic
Leszek P. Słupecki, Encounters: Slavic
Thomas Dubois, Encounters: Baltic
Thomas Dubois, Encounters: Sámi
Thomas Dubois, Encounters: Balto-Finnic

Volume 2. Contexts and Communication between Worlds

Anders Andrén, Historical and Social Contexts
Stefan Brink, Laws and Assemblies
John Lindow, Ethics
Judy Quinn, Gender
Jens Peter Schjødt, Kings and Rulers
Jens Peter Schjødt, Warrior Bands
Jens Peter Schjødt, Various Ways of Communicating
Stephen A. Mitchell, Magic and Religion
Torun Zachrisson & Anders Andrén, Ritual Space
Andreas Nordberg, Ritual Time and Time Reckoning
Olof Sundqvist, Cultic Leaders and Religious Specialists
Jens Peter Schjødt, Crisis Rituals
Jens Peter Schjødt, Cyclical Rituals
Jens Peter Schjødt, Passage Rituals
Neil Price, Death Ritual and Mortuary Behaviour
John Lindow & Anders Andrén, Worlds of the Dead
John Lindow, Fate
John Lindow & Jens Peter Schjødt, The Divine, the Human and In Between

Volume 3. Conceptual Frameworks: Cosmos and Collective Supernatural Beings, Gods and Goddesses

Mathias Nordvig, Cosmogony
Mathias Nordvig, Cosmology
Anders Hultgård, Cosmic Eschatology: Ragnarøk
John Lindow, Vanir and Æsir
John Lindow, Þórr
Jens Peter Schjødt, Óðinn
Olof Sundqvist, Freyr
Jens Peter Schjødt, Loki
Ingunn Ásdísardóttir, Freyja
John Lindow, Baldr
John Lindow, Njǫrðr
John Lindow, Týr
Anders Andrén, Ullr
Sebastian Cöllen, Heimdallr
Ingunn Ásdísardóttir, Frigg
Jens Peter Schjødt, Hœnir
John Lindow, Skaði
John Lindow & Jens Peter Schjødt, Minor Gods and Goddesses
Anders Andrén, Divine Twins
Anders Andrén, Sun and Moon
Rudolf Simek, Matronae
John Lindow, Dísir
Karen Bek-Pedersen, Norns
Judy Quinn, Valkyries
Margaret Clunies Ross, Giants
Terry Gunnell, Dvergar (Dwarfs)
Terry Gunnell, Álfar (Elves)

Volume 4. The Christianization Process, Bibliography, General Indices

Michael H. Gelting, The Christianization of Denmark
Sæbjørg Walaker Nordeide, The Christianization of Norway
Jón Viðar Sigurðsson, The Christianization of the North Atlantic
Bertil Nilsson, The Christianization of Sweden
Tuomas Heikkilä, Christianization of Finland
Håkan Rydving, The Christianization of the Sámi
Primary & Secondary Sources – General Indices