IMC 2008: Sessions

Session 1520: The Dangerous Supernatural

Thursday 10 July 2008, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Alaric Hall, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki
Paper 1520-aShock and Awe: The Dream Women in Gísla Saga
(Language: English)
Paul Sander Langeslag, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto
Index terms: Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Pagan Religions, Religious Life
Paper 1520-bThe (Super)Natural World of the Landnámabók
(Language: English)
Bernadine McCreesh, Département des Arts et Lettres, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi
Index terms: Folk Studies, Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Pagan Religions

Paper -a:
While several of the dream-stanzas in Gísla saga Súrssonar are distinctly Christian in the sentiments they convey, they are certainly unorthodox if considered from a contemporary Christian perspective. Accordingly, some of their elements demand to be explained by early Scandinavian societal values rather than Christian theology. As such, the composite nature of these verses raises questions regarding their unity and origins. In this paper, I will survey a number of analogous traditions that may shed light on various ideas conveyed in the poetry of Gísla saga.
Paper -b:
According to the Landnámabók or ‘Book of Settlements’, the natural world of Iceland was controlled by four sets of supernatural beings: æsir (pagan gods), landvættir (nature spirits), witches and wizards, and the Christian God. This paper examines the roles played by each of these sets of beings and their relationship to the Icelanders and to each other.