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Spirituality

Iceland to build temple to Norse gods

By T.K. Randall
February 3, 2015 · Comment icon 53 comments



Artist's depiction of the Norse god Thor. Image Credit: Marten Eskil Winge
The temple will be the first of its kind to be built in the country since the time of the Vikings.
These days Odin and Thor might be best known for their roles in Marvel's superhero movie franchise, but back in the days of the Vikings these deities were taken very seriously indeed.

While belief in the Norse gods mostly disappeared following the arrival of Christianity in Scandinavia around 1,000 years ago, there are still some who subscribe to these ancient beliefs through a modern form of Norse paganism that is becoming increasingly popular in Iceland and elsewhere.
Known as Ásatrúarfélagið, this unique religion has tripled its membership to over 2,400 within the last twelve months and now plans are going ahead to build a fully functional temple overlooking the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik, the first building of its kind for more than a millennia.

Despite its similarities with Norse mythological beliefs however this modern take on the Viking religion takes a more philosophical approach to the age-old tales of warrior gods and magic hammers.

"I don’t believe anyone believes in a one-eyed man who is riding about on a horse with eight feet," said high priest Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson. "We see the stories as poetic metaphors and a manifestation of the forces of nature and human psychology."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (53)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #44 Posted by Thorvir Hrothgaard 8 years ago
Excellent news for Icelandic Ásatrúar. I do wonder how long it will be before the U.S. gets any kind of large, specifically Pagan temples or places of worship. Oftentimes Wiccans will meet at a local UU church, and I know of a few small Druid groves on the East and West coasts, but nothing quite of the scale of this temple. Thing is, a temple built here would attract a lot of weirdos. A lot of them. Weirdos.
Comment icon #45 Posted by Podo 8 years ago
Excellent news for Icelandic Ásatrúar. I do wonder how long it will be before the U.S. gets any kind of large, specifically Pagan temples or places of worship. Oftentimes Wiccans will meet at a local UU church, and I know of a few small Druid groves on the East and West coasts, but nothing quite of the scale of this temple. There is a small hall that is used by Asatru practitioners in my city, and they seem pretty normal. I used to live around the corner from the hall, and it wasn't a big deal. We also have several dedicated buildings for Wiccans and pagans of all stripes. But, I'm in Canada, ... [More]
Comment icon #46 Posted by DieChecker 8 years ago
What if someone wants to worship Sutr or Ymr? Can one worship the Giants there too? I wonder..... Would an Icelandic Atheist be called a Sutrist, rather then a Satanist?
Comment icon #47 Posted by LostSouls7 8 years ago
sounds like fun! How can I join ?
Comment icon #48 Posted by euroninja 8 years ago
Iceland to build first temple to Norse gods since Viking age http://www.theguardi...gods-1000-years Can't be any worse then being a Jedi.... nowadays leave out the slaughter of animals. They're saying that now but man is a sucker for tradition. Before you know it they'll be sacrificing people again........................................... Did Thor suddenly reappear????????????????????????????????????
Comment icon #49 Posted by Thorvir Hrothgaard 8 years ago
........................................... Did Thor suddenly reappear???????????????????????????????????? What was that?
Comment icon #50 Posted by Thorvir Hrothgaard 8 years ago
They're saying that now but man is a sucker for tradition. Before you know it they'll be sacrificing people again. Seriously, though, the current pagan religions don't actually sacrifice anyone except a good amount of beer and mead--or at least the only ones worth while do. Why would that change because they get an official temple?
Comment icon #51 Posted by Red Moon 8 years ago
They're saying that now but man is a sucker for tradition. Before you know it they'll be sacrificing people again........................................... Did Thor suddenly reappear???????????????????????????????????? Yes He did appear. And I'm sure a number of Jesus worshippers want to bring back witch hunts and burn heretics again.
Comment icon #52 Posted by Calibeliever 8 years ago
Would an Icelandic Atheist be called a Sutrist, rather then a Satanist? Is a Satanist an atheist? Doesn't atheism mean no belief in any god?
Comment icon #53 Posted by DieChecker 8 years ago
Is a Satanist an atheist? Doesn't atheism mean no belief in any god? Most satanists are atheists who simply like Satan as a symbol of freedom from God(s). Satan revolted against God, and atheists revolt against the idea of God. There are also Devil Worshippers who are altogether something different.


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