Centre for Medieval Studies

OYI project: The“Forging” of Christian Identity in the Northern Periphery (c.820-c.1200)

The“Forging” of Christian Identity in the Northern Periphery (c.820-c.1200) is a project financed within the scheme for outstanding young investigators (OYI) by the Research Council of Norway. The goal of the initiative is to give talented younger researchers from all disciplines particularly good framework conditions to help them realise their potential to achieve international excellence. The scheme is intended to help develop world-class leaders in various fields of research and to enhance the quality of Norwegian research.

The general aim of this project is to achieve a better understanding of the Christianization process in Northern Europe (c.820-c.1200), especially in Scandinavia and northern Russia, by bringing together the expertise of international specialists in related fields.

The specific objectives of the project are the following:

To trace parallels, influences, and borrowings in early Christian discourse across Northern Europe through the comparative study of early Christian hagiography and narratives in Scandinavia and Russia;

To analyze material markers for the gradual accommodation of Christianity to local societies, most notably the appearance and dissemination of new Christian symbols and signs in the same societies.

To explore the multifaceted nature of Christian identity in northern periphery through a comparative study of written discourse, practical literacy, and material objects, which were employed in the creation and maintenance of those identities.