Den synliga tron : Runstenskors som en spegling av kristnandet i Sverige
Sammanfattning: One of the aims of this dissertation is to classify the crosses that can be found on the Late Viking Age runestones of Scandinavia. The cross-incised runestones are analysed in relation to the overall runestone production of Scandinavia during the Late Viking Age, with a focus on Sweden. The raising of these runestones shows considerable geographical and chronological variation both within Scandinavia and within present day Sweden. Another aim is to analyse the raising of runestones in relation to the conversion of Sweden. Since the crosses on the runestones are signs of the Christian faith, and Christianity came to Scandinavia from Europe, the similarities between the shapes of the more complex runestone crosses and the crosses that can be found in the European material are analysed in order to trace Christian influences during the conversion. Most of the similarities are found between the runestone crosses and crosses from the British Isles, which suggests a British presence in Scandinavia and Sweden during the conversion. These conclusions are combined with the information from the analyses of the raising of Scandinavian runestones, and supplemented with information obtained from philological and historical analyses, to present an overall picture of the conversion with a focus on Sweden. A third aim is to analyse the ornamentation on the Late Viking Age runestones as a reflection of the cultural and religious changes that took place during the conversion. The ornamentation on the runestones is analysed in relation to contemporary European expressions of Christian faith. This demonstrates that the Late Viking Age runestones are unique as expressions of Christian faith in a European context. The considerable Scandinavian ornamental independence suggests a gradual conversion with a maintained cultural and religious self-confidence. The ornamentation on the runestones is also considered as an iconographic program used actively as a tool in the conversion.
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