Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Cristianización y formación de Estados en Escandinavia y en la Europa Centro-oriental: Un proyecto de historia comparada

Nora Berend


Whereas in the natural sciences it is usual for scientists to work and write together, in the humanities such team-work is more unusual. Yet sometimes comparative history is best written by a group, when there is a need to combine different types of expertise. Historical processes are not confi ned within modern national boundaries or even geographical regions, and sometimes we may distort our analysis of the past by restricting our field of study to such units. Nor can the study of the past rely on one discipline alone. Conversion to Christianity, linked to the rise of Christian monarchy, in Scandinavia, Central Europe and Rus’ c. 900 - 1200 is an example of a topic which is best treated comparatively. This article describes how a collaborative project on this topic was organized and carried out by historians, archaeologists and art historians. It also summarizes the main areas of analysis: the pagan cults; Christian infl uences prior to Christianization by rulers; the relationship between Christianization and the consolidation of power; the process of Christianization (how Christianity was spread among the population, what its progress was, the types of interaction between pagans and Christians, and the building of ecclesiastical structures in newly-converted lands); the meaning of Christianization through laws from the period, and through particular infl uences and adaptations; and fi nally the impact of Christianity in three areas: writing, laws and coinage.

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