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Nordic Ideology between Religion and Scholarship


Edited By Horst Junginger and Andreas Akerlund

The articles of this volume treat the expansion of the Nordic ideology in the first half of the twentieth century. They concentrate on the amalgamation of scientific, religious and political features, which transformed the idea of the North into a mainstay of extreme nationalism. Lacking positive norms and values, the Nordic idea depended on the opposition against everything deemed un-Nordic. Völkisch Nordicism shared with conventional forms of nationalism the enmity with Judaism and Bolshevism and – to a lesser extent – with Anglo-Americanism and Catholicism. Beyond that, it constituted a mythological counter narrative that combined the idea of spiritual kinship with biological lineage, on Pagan as well as on Christian grounds.


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Religion, Science and Ideology in Germany and Sweden


The Eddic Myth between Academic and Religious Interpretations Debora Dusse 1. Preliminary Note The reception of the Eddic myth in the twentieth century has left its mark in litera- ture, music, art, scholarship, propaganda and so on. One phenomenon catches the eye in the context of Nordic ideology1: In the academic reception one finds sec- ondary fields of endeavour documenting an interest in the subject, which goes be- yond a research interest in the narrower sense and has religious as well as ideologi- cal connotations. In this context, one can speak of a “surplus value” of the Eddic literature in the time of Nordic ideology. Even before the twentieth century, there are examples of academic authors, such as the German expert of legal history Felix Dahn (1834–1912), who used the Old Norse tradition in his academic research as well as for literary, religious and political purposes. Dahn turned to the Eddic myth with his most well-known work, his historical novel Ein Kampf um Rom (1867), and in some religiously themed writ- ing, such as Skalden-Kunst (1882), and when he was engaged with the propaganda of the nationalistic German movement in the Habsburger Reich. Some academics in the first half of the twentieth century who worked in the field of the Germanic and the Old Norse tradition and were concerned with Nor- dic ideology show similar tendencies in their use of the Eddic myth in their scholar- ship and political activity. Like Felix Dahn, who fought for the German nation...

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