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Heliga vatten: Vattencentrerad kult och vattnets symbolik under Skandinaviens kristnande
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeology.
2013 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay aims to explore continuity in water centric cult within the period of the Christianization of Scandinavia (ca 800-1100 AD) and to understand the changing of symbolism of water in pre-Christian cult and early Christian religion. It has previously been thought that Christian priests took over the old holy wells and renamed them after saint, all to ease the pagan people into a Christian lifestyle. But archaeological evidence shows that the cult at these wells, and other water centric sites, where almost completely abandoned a few hundred years before the Christians came to Scandinavia. The Christians should not have felt the need to transform this tradition since it was only practiced in a very small and supposedly private scale. On the contrary, religious activities at these wells seems to increase with the new religion and perhaps this is explained by Christianity itself. Water was an important element in the liturgi and especially in baptism. In early Christian Europe special chapels were built to baptize children but also grown men and women and historical sources speak of the importance of baptism in "living water". This essay discusses the possibility that these wells were used to baptize the newly converted Christians, thus receiving its sacred status. The official sping cult ended in the 16th century with the Protestant Reformation as it was prohibited but still the wells were visited and the cult was kept alive.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 31 p.
Keyword [sv]
Kult, Vatten, Offerkällor, Symbolik, Järnålder, Medeltid, Kristendom
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-101410OAI: diva2:703580
Available from: 2014-03-10 Created: 2014-03-07 Last updated: 2014-03-10Bibliographically approved

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