Iceland to build temple to Norse gods
By T.K. Randall
February 3, 2015 · 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
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