miércoles, 21 de julio de 2010

God and godesses on the edge: myth and liminality in the north (Iceland)

God and godesses on the edge: myth and liminality in the north (Iceland)

Religion and the mythologies associated with it have always involved a strong sense of liminality. They involve a meeting of worlds, the seen and the unseen, and offer a means of communication between the two, by means of word, image, action and the use other senses (including smell, taste, induced ecstasy and music). In their attempt to explain the complexities of the world, myths constantly deal with temporal and geographical border-crossings of various kinds, ranging from the obvious journeys between worlds and the conflicts that take place between them, to other kinds of meetings between genders and between beings, and the deeper questions of the beginnings and endings of existence and the creation of place out of space. At the same time, while rituals help to maintain borderlines, they also assist believers to cross them in safety. In this conference, the intention is for key scholars from various disciplines - ranging from the fields of Old Norse literature to archaeology, place name studies, and religious history - to present papers that will initiate new discussion into how these questions were dealt with in Old Norse religion. As recent works on this subject have shown, over the last few years, this field has been constantly developing especially as a result of new knowledge stemming from archaeological finds and place name studies. Among other things, these have emphasised the variety of forms of belief in existence over time and space in the Nordic area, and the range of cultural connections that existed between the Nordic peoples and those from the Gaelic, Sami, Finno-Ugric, Baltic, and Slav areas. One could argue that the situation in the Viking Age (and especially in the preceding period around 500-600 AD) was one of constant flux, something of which the religious practices and mythologies of the North attempted to make sense.

Among the wide range of relevant subjects for discussion at the conference, one could mention the following:

- Myths and/ or rituals involving negotiation between worlds (both those of various beings, and the worlds of the living and the dead)
- Myths and/ or rituals involving gender negotiation (as in elements of cross-dress or discussions of male-female power relations)
- Myths and/ or rituals of initiation (ranging from the marking and naming of new land to questions of marriage between races, and death and annihilation, and the resulting crossing of border into new territories)
- Myths of conflict and commercial transaction between worlds, races or genders
- Myths of travel between worlds
- Mythical material that demonstrates interaction between different races
- Myths and/ or rituals that involve the creation or dissolving of borders
- Myths as mediators between heaven and earth

Main Organisers:
Terry Gunnell, Professor, Head of Folkloristics, (University of Iceland);
Nordic House, Reykjavík
Advisory Committee:
Dr Pernille Hermann and Prof. Jens Peter Schjødt, University of Aarhus;
Prof. Stefan Brink, University of Aberdeen;
Prof. Gísli Sigurðsson, Árnamagnean Institute, University of Iceland
Project Leader/ Contact Person:
Terry Gunnell, Prof. of Folkloristics, University of Iceland
Address: Faculty of Social Science, Oddi, office 113, University of Iceland, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland
Tel:(354) 525 4549; Fax: (354) 552 6806 e-mail: terry@hi.is

A Conference On Old Nordic Religions and Mythology
to be held at the University of Iceland
(in cooperation with the Nordic House
and the Reykholt "Pre-Christian Religions of the North" project)

12th to 13th of November
Reykjavik (Iceland)

No hay comentarios: