- Author: Andrew Hamer
- Title: Njáls saga and its Christian Background: A Study of Narrative Method
- Place, Publisher: Belgium: Peeters
- Year: 2014
- Pages: 1-292
- Reference: Hamer, Andrew. Njáls saga and its Christian Background: A Study of Narrative Method. Belgium: Peeters, 2014.
- Key words:
This book attempts to set Njáls Saga within a Christian framework, comparing it with Laxdœla Saga in its use of ecclesiastical metaphors, its use of scripture within the narrative, and even its structure. Hamer uses an abundance of scholarship, weighing former and current opinions to support his argument. Fundamental to the book is the author’s belief that, contrary to popular scholarship, Njáls Saga is not, in fact, multiple sagas haphazardly thrown together but rather a very planned structure that purposefully mirrors its own set of story lines, Iceland’s conversion and its shift in ethics, and scriptural exegesis that were popular in medieval scholarship.
Chapter 111: fyrirgefi yður: "When the author of Njáls saga modeled the killing of Höskuldr on the martyrdom Stephen, and had him refuse to use his sword against his attackers, he made him an embodiment of the new law in action. Höskuldr rejects the old code of 'eye for eye, tooth for tooth, receives Skarpheðinn's first blow to the head, and submits to further blows. The weapon he does choose to wield is love, articulated in the prayer for his killers, and the battle he wages is for their souls, not against their bodies." (p. 198)
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- Icelandic/English translation: