Norse Conversion

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The Christianization of the Norse took place between the 8th and the 12th centuries. It was a gradual process that took considerable effort converting the Norse, as they did not wish to convert and in many cases conversion was by force. The traditional religion of the Norse people wasn't just a form of worship, it was apart of their culture and way of life. A belief system that was deeply rooted that made the concept of the original sin and other Christian beliefs just too hard for the Norse people to understand or believe. Because of this, converting the Norse was a task that took Christendom a relatively long time to achieve and was done by any and all means possible, including converting Norse beliefs, practices, and culture into Christian ideology in order to allow the Norse to relate and understand it and then eventually accept Christianity. So conversion of the Norse was done by relating Christian concepts as closely to Norse practices as closely as possible. Conversion attempts were also usually done by means of mass communities rather than taken in by individual conversion. This was done by methods of demanding conversions through subjugation. The Monarch would convert and as an opportunity to solidify their power, force their subjects to convert as well. So instead of trying to convert individuals to become Christians, the community would be ordered to convert. Entire regions would become converted by order of the King. Missionaries, priests, and monks would then come in to finish the process. Once converted, the old gods and practices would be outlawed as entire communities would be baptized and swear oaths to forsake the old gods and take in Christ as their only god. Further subjugation would take place thro... ... middle of paper ... ...tory over Satan to play a central part in the spread of Christianity among the Vikings, whom looked to Odin and Thor for such attributes. Even still, completely converting the Norse to true monotheistic Christianity was an extremely difficult task. The Norse never had anything against the Christians or their religious beliefs. The notorious Viking attacks on monasteries were due to the fact that they were rich and poorly defended. These raids were nothing more than opportunities for a Viking raid and had nothing to do with the Christian religion itself. Even many Norse monks didn't take the whole religious life all that seriously. Becoming a monk at the time was seen more as a means of acquiring an education and learning to read and write. The strict conversions did not take place until later, especially when the age of Protestantism was sweeping across Europe.

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