Pagans and Christians

LCMRS Seminar: "Pagans and Christians — Scandinavian Encounters with Christianity Overseas" (Professor Lesley Abrams, University of Oxford)

5:15pm - 6:00pm / Tuesday 20th November 2018 / Venue: Seminar room 6 Rendall Building
Type: Seminar / Category: Department / Series: Liverpool Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Admission: Free.
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How helpful is the concept of ‘the conversion to Christianity’ in describing the political, religious, and cultural transformation that occurred when Scandinavians settled in Britain, Ireland, and Francia in the ninth and tenth centuries? Viking armies – and many of the settlers that followed them – practised a form of traditional pagan religion before they came to adopt Christianity overseas. While the process remains tantalisingly obscure, what is clear is that religious change depended on local dynamics, and that Scandinavians became Christian in a variety of ways.

This seminar paper will use case-studies from across the Scandinavian diaspora to explore the relationships between pagan Scandinavians and Christian regimes and institutions, examining the role religious identity played in the integration of the outsiders, whether as elite actors in the political sphere or settlers in the local landscape.