~Followers of Thor~

A bit about Viking Religion..

The Norse Religion

The Norse religion was the first Viking religion.

While Thor was one god of the Vikings, other important ones were Odin, Frey and Freyja. Oden was Chief of the Gods and Goddesses, and father of Thor. The home of these gods was Asgard. Vikings believed that if they died while fighting, they would go to a hall in Asgard called Valhalla, where they could fight all day and dine all night.

Christianity and Vikings

After Lief Erikson failed his attempt to settle in Canada after 1000CE, he returned to Greenland, and brought Christianity back with him. Christianity gave the Vikings a reason to unite. From now on, the Viking's had a Christian Faith.

Vikings had made attacks on Christian churches, however, this was believed not to be about the religion, but about the fact that these churches were wealthy and poorly defended.

At this time, people were brought to faith, and christianity was seen as taking a 'royal initiative'.

Christianity was a group decision amongst the Viking tribes.

Gods from the Norse Religion:

Thor was the most popular god, as his purpose reflected viking values

Thor

We know very little about the Pagan practices of the Vikings. What we do know relates more to the stories told about the Gods. The most powerful god was the one-eyed Odin, the all father, god of warfare, justice, death, wisdom and poetry.

Probably the most popular god, however, was Thor, who was stupid but incredibly strong. With his hammer Miollnir, crafted by the dwarfs, he was the main defender of the gods against the giants. He was also the god of thunder, and seafarers particularly worshipped him. The brother and sister Frey and Freyja, the god and goddess of fertility, were also important, and there were many other minor gods and goddesses.

The main enemies of the gods were the giants, and there were often conflicts between the two races. Among the gods, only Thor was a match for the giants in strength, so the gods usually had to rely on cunning to outwit the giants.

It was believed that the world would end with the final battle of Ragnarok, between the gods and the giants. A fire would sweep across the whole world, destroying both the gods and mankind. However, just enough members of both races would survive to start a new world.

Bibliography

Graham-Campbell, JA 2013, 'Vikings' , World Book Student, World Book, Chicago, viewed 5 March 2013,
<http://www.worldbookonline.com/student/article?id=ar585500&st=viking+religion>.

Calburtson, H. (n.d.). Conversion of the Vikings, 800-1200 AD. Christian Missions: Conversion of the Vikings. Retrieved from http://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/800.htm

Viking Religion. (n.d.). Viking Religion. Retrieved from http://www.danishnet.com/info.php/vikings/viking-religion-15.html