Buku Odin: The Origins, History and Evolution of the Norse God by Charles River Editors & Harasta Jesse

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Odin: The Origins, History and Evolution of the Norse God by Charles River Editors & Harasta Jesse

Author:Charles River Editors & Harasta, Jesse [Harasta, Jesse]

Language: eng

Format: azw3

Publisher: Charles River Editors

Published: 2013-06-10T16:00:00+00:00

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Odin: The Origins, History and Evolution of the Norse God by Charles River Editors & Harasta Jesse

Chapter 3: Worship of Odin

Medieval Christian historiographers were at best condescending and at worst hostile to the idea of pagan religion. Thus, while people have knowledge of the myths surrounding the Norse gods, the theology that underpinned those stories is far less known. Without theology, the beliefs of the Norse, as well as other pagan groups, come to be seen as irrational beliefs in fantastical stories. It also clouds the stories of Thor themselves. After all, how could tales like Jonah and the Whale or Job wrestling God be understood without knowledge of the Christian religion itself?

What is evident is that the Norse gods had serious worshipers and followers, and their priests and followers were just as rational, just as clever and just as interested in deep theological questions as their Christian contemporaries. How did the worship of these gods serve the social, psychological and spiritual needs of their followers?[24]

 

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Odin: The Origins, History and Evolution of the Norse God by Charles River Editors & Harasta Jesse

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Odin: The Origins, History and Evolution of the Norse God by Charles River Editors & Harasta Jesse

 

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Odin: The Origins, History and Evolution of the Norse God by Charles River Editors & Harasta Jesse

Author:Charles River Editors & Harasta, Jesse [Harasta, Jesse] , Date: June 6, 2019

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Author:Charles River Editors & Harasta, Jesse [Harasta, Jesse]

Language: eng

Format: azw3

Publisher: Charles River Editors

Published: 2013-06-10T16:00:00+00:00
Chapter 3: Worship of Odin

Medieval Christian historiographers were at best condescending and at worst hostile to the idea of pagan religion. Thus, while people have knowledge of the myths surrounding the Norse gods, the theology that underpinned those stories is far less known. Without theology, the beliefs of the Norse, as well as other pagan groups, come to be seen as irrational beliefs in fantastical stories. It also clouds the stories of Thor themselves. After all, how could tales like Jonah and the Whale or Job wrestling God be understood without knowledge of the Christian religion itself?

What is evident is that the Norse gods had serious worshipers and followers, and their priests and followers were just as rational, just as clever and just as interested in deep theological questions as their Christian contemporaries. How did the worship of these gods serve the social, psychological and spiritual needs of their followers?[24]

The surviving Norse myths and other sources provide a rich picture of the tales that were told about Odin, but just as the Bible is not a step-by-step guide to a Catholic Mass or a Pentecostal prayer-meeting, these myths do not necessarily give readers an understanding of how the worship of Odin actually played out in the everyday life of the Norse. For this, other sources are necessary, particularly the observations of rituals by outsiders and the archaeological remains of ancient sites of worship.

The primary source for information on German religion is the Roman Tacitus who wrote Germania. Tacitus was a Senator and a historian who lived from AD 56-117. Germania is actually one of his minor works, as his great masterpieces focused upon the reigns of various Emperors. However, in Germania he turns his eyes northward and gives readers a basic description of the German style of worship:

“Mercury [Odin] is the deity whom they chiefly worship, and on certain days they deem it right to sacrifice to him even with human victims. Hercules [Thor] and Mars [Tyr] they appease with more lawful offerings. […] The Germans, however, do not consider it consistent with the grandeur of celestial beings to confine the gods within walls, or to liken them to the form of any human countenance. They consecrate woods and groves, and they apply the names of deities to the abstraction which they see only in spiritual worship.”

Tacitus then goes on to describe their use of runic divination (though he does not use the word “rune”):

“A little bough is lopped off a fruit-bearing tree, and cut into small pieces; these are distinguished by certain marks, and thrown carelessly and at random over a white garment. In public questions the priest of the particular state, in private the father of the family, invokes the gods, and, with his eyes toward heaven, takes up each piece three times, and finds in them a meaning according to the mark previously impressed on them. […] they are also familiar with the practice of consulting the notes and flight of birds. It is peculiar to this people to seek omens and monitions from horses.

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