Icelandic Folklore and the Cultural Memory of Religious Change
Icelandic Folklore and the Cultural Memory of Religious Change
€ 89,00
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15.6 x 23.4 cm
Table of Contents
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Introduction: Stories, Memories, and Modalities Belief
Chapter 1 - The Dead Bridegroom Carries off his Bride: Pejoration and Adjacency Pairs in ATU 365
Chapter 2 - The Elf-Woman’s Conversion: Gender Spheres in Post-Medieval Icelandic Folktales
Chapter 3 - The Fylgjur of Iceland: Attendant Spirits and a Distorted Sense of Guardianship
Chapter 4 - The Elf Church: Memories of Contested Sacred Spaces
Chapter 5 - The Stupid Boy and the Devil: Sæmundur Fródi, Magic, and Redemption
Conclusion: The Transformation of Memory and of Self
Selected Bibliography

Reviews and Features

"This book is a fascinating exploration of the connections between various Icelandic folktales and a valiant attempt to relate them to religious change. [...] I would recommend the book to anyone interested in Icelandic folklore, or indeed the functioning of folklore more generally."
- Lola Sharon Davidson, University of Technology Sydney, Journal of the Australian Early Medieval Association (2022)

"The book is diligently researched and stocked full of footnotes with references to texts in English and Icelandic. The most impressive aspect of the research is the work the author has done with the primary sources, specifically, the folktale collections of Jón Árnason, Íslenzkar pjódsögur og æventyri. Much of the text from the selected folktales provided in the book is presented in English translation for the first time, which should serve as a call for more translation activity of this immense corpus."
- Andrew McGillivray, University of Winnipeg, Scandinavian Studies, Vol. 94, No. 1 (2022)

Eric Shane Bryan

Icelandic Folklore and the Cultural Memory of Religious Change

Iceland’s uncommon proclivity towards storytelling, its robust tradition of medieval manuscripts, and the "re-oralization" of those narratives after the medieval period, create a body of folktales and legends that have encoded a hidden account of how orthodox and heterodox beliefs (sometimes pagan in origin) intermingled as Christianity, and later Reformation, spread through the North. This volume unlocks that secret story by placing Icelandic folktales in a context of religious doctrine, social history, and Old Norse sagas and poetry. The analysis herein reveals a cultural memory of belief.
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Eric Shane Bryan

Eric Bryan is Assoc. Prof. of English at Missouri Univ. of Science and Technology. He has received grants from the Fulbright Program and American Scandinavian Foundation.