Grønlie, Siân. 'No Longer Male and Female'

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  • Author: Grønlie, Siân
  • Title: 'No Longer Male and Female': Redeeming Women in the Icelandic Conversion Narratives
  • Published in: Medium Aevum 75.2
  • Year: 2006
  • Pages: 293-318
  • E-text: ProQuest
  • Reference: Grønlie, Siân. "'No Longer Male and Female': Redeeming Women in the Icelandic Conversion Narratives." Medium Aevum 75.2 (2006): 293-318.

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Contents

Annotation

The confrontation between Steinunn and Þangbrandr in Njála furnishes the starting example for this article which is focussing on the representation of women in Icelandic conversion narratives. Siân Grønlie disagrees with scholars who interpret the opposition of pagan women and Christian men as echoing history or as a purely literary construction due to clerical misogyny, and explores other examples taken from íslendingasögur, konungasögur, and translated saints’ lives. She shows that alternative depictions of women in conversion narratives can be found, portraying continuity rather than rupture between the old and new faith, and assimilation rather than adversity. She concludes that when these more positive examples aren’t overlooked, another, more nuanced, image of women’s attitude to Christian conversion appears.

Lýsing

Ágreiningurinn milli Steinunnar og Þangbrands í Njáls sögu er efniviður fyrstu greiningar Siãn Grønlie af mörgum á framsetningu kvenna í frásögnum af kristnitökunni. Hún er ósammála þeim fræðimönnum sem túlka andstöðu heiðinna kvenna og kristinna manna sem annað hvort endurómun á sagnfræði eða sem bókmenntalegan tilbúning, innblásin af kvenhatri klerkastéttarinnar, máli sínu til stuðnings tekur hún dæmi úr Íslendingasögum, konungasögum og þýddum heilagra manna sögum. Grønlie sýnir að annars konar lýsingar á konum fyrirfinnast innan frásagna af kristnitökunni og þær sýna meiri samfellu og aðlögun milli nýju og gömlu trúarbragðanna, frekar en rof og mótspyrnu. Hún ályktar að þegar jákvæðari birtingarmyndir af viðhorfum kvenna gagnvart kristnitökunni eru dregin fram í dagsljósið tekur það á sig mun heildstæðari mynd.

See also

References

Chapter 102: þorði hann eigi að berjast: "Central to Steinunn's argument is her strong support for what she sees as the 'pagan' ideal of aggressive masculinity: her point about Christ not daring to fight is surely a parody of the Passion. ... The implication is clear: conversion can be represented as a struggle between the sexes, in which women consistently oppose and are excluded from the Christian ideals embraced so willingly by men." (p. 294).

Chapter 102: hún boðaði Þangbrandi heiðni: "Whether Christianity is introduced by means of a legal consensus (as in Iceland) or through royal and political power (as in Norway)... these women stand outside the decision-making bodies ... Hence they (Old Icelandic narratives) represent the domestic sphere - the sphere where women held power - as most resistant to the Christian message, and Njáls saga draws on this dynamic when it dramatizes the clash between the old faith and the new as a power struggle between women and men." (p. 299).

Links

  • Written by: Barbora Davídková
  • Icelandic translation: Andri M. Kristjánsson
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