Christianity And Christianity In Beowulf

Decent Essays

Even though Christianity has been around for quite some time, not all Christians really act uniformly. And so it goes with Christianity with the early Icelandic and Anglo-Saxon peoples. Since all of their literature was written by Christian monks, the stories and sagas have Christian spins on them. Beowulf, one of the major texts to be referenced here, was written down after the Anglo-Saxon conversion to Christianity and has many Christian quips written in it, even though the story was transmitted orally long before the conversion. It contains no information on what the Anglo-Saxons were like pre-conversion and whether or not Christianity actually changed the ways their society operated. Njal’s Saga, on the other hand, has the narrative of Iceland’s conversion embedded within it. This lends for a better examination of the people before and after the incident. Even with the evidence of the conversion of the country, though, it can seem hard to determine how Christianity changed the then-current Icelandic culture. To shape the idea of how biblical Christianity works, Ephesians 4:22-24 gives a good idea of how somebody should behave post conversion. It says, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (NIV). Once a person—or country in the case of

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