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Iceland’s uncommon proclivity towards storytelling, its robust tradition of medieval manuscripts, and the “re-oralization” of those narratives after the medieval period, create a body of folktales and legends that have encoded a hidden account of how orthodox and heterodox beliefs (sometimes pagan in origin) intermingled as Christianity, and later Reformation, spread through the North. This volume unlocks that secret story by placing Icelandic folktales in a context of religious doctrine, social history, and Old Norse sagas and poetry. The analysis herein reveals a cultural memory of belief.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Epigraph
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. p. v
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  1. Preface
  2. Eric Shane Bryan
  3. p. vi
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  1. Acknowledments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Introduction: Stories, Memories, and Mechanisms of Belief
  2. pp. 1-22
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  1. Chapter 1 The Dead Bridegroom Carries Off His Bride: Pejoration and Adjacency Pairs in Atu 365
  2. pp. 23-44
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  1. Chapter 2 The Elf Woman's Conversion: Memories of Gender and Gender Spheres
  2. pp. 45-66
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  1. Chapter 3 The Fylgjur of Iceland: Attendant Spirits and a Distorted Sense of Guardianship
  2. pp. 67-88
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  1. Chapter 4 The Elf Church: Memories of Contested Sacred Spaces
  2. pp. 89-116
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  1. Chapter 5 The Stupid Boy and the Devil: Saemundur Frodi Sigfusson, Magic, and Redemption
  2. pp. 117-140
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 141-148
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  1. Select Bibliography
  2. pp. 149-154
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 155-162
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