Between Theory and Empirical data. A Study of the
History of Ideas Regarding Ancestor Worship in Research into Old Norse

Project leader

Funding source

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2008
End date: 31/12/2011
Funding: 1700000 SEK


The aim of this project is to study the correlation of theory and empirical data in the scholarly disciplines of archaeology, history of religion and folklorist. The study, which has a history of ideas approach, take its point of departure in the issue of ancestor worship in Old Norse Religion, of which the views are heavily diverting in the three disciplines. A comparison will also be made between Swedish and Finnish folklore, where similar empirical material has generated very diverse conclusions. The study begins with a discussion of theory concerning ancestor worship as a religious phenomenon and scientific category. A history of ideas analysis of the issue of ancestor worship in Old Norse Religion will follow, with regard to the academic research in the three disciplines. New approaches are presented. An interdisciplinary synthesis of the results of the previous study will follow. Since the problems concerning the dissimilar academic views of ancestor worship in Old Norse Religion are of significance for many disciplines within the humanities, an interdisciplinary study of the subject is needed. In addition, it is important to clarify the great differences in the historical backgrounds in the separate academic fields. Such an analysis could be of importance in a broader sense.

Last updated on 2017-29-03 at 17:13