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Medieval History

Journal

2020

Christianity

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Gísli’S Súrsson’S Saga: A Conversion Case Study, Sarah S. Penney Nov 2020

Gísli’S Súrsson’S Saga: A Conversion Case Study, Sarah S. Penney

The Macksey Journal

This paper examines an Icelandic Saga, Gísli Súrsson’s Saga, with the aid of key readings in liminal space theory, medieval Christian philosophy, and The King’s Two Bodies by Ernst Kantorowicz. Building on prior scholarship by William I. Miller and other scholars of medieval outlawry, the paper focuses on Gísli's symbolic status as a break from Iceland’s pagan background due to his liminal state, outlawry, apparent belief systems and values, and suggested relation to medieval Christian philosophy. Gísli is an outlier, but he is also a precursor to Iceland’s eventual conversion to Christianity because of his ...