Early Christianity on the Way from the Varangians to the Greeks /


Early Christianity on the Way from the Varangians to the Greeks /

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edited by Ildar Garipzanov, Oleksiy Tolochko  / | 978-966-02-6266-9 | Institute of Ukrainian History / | 2011 | 148 S. | Kyiv /

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Publisher Institute of Ukrainian History / Institute of Ukrainian History /
Author edited by Ildar Garipzanov, Oleksiy Tolochko  / edited by Ildar Garipzanov, Oleksiy Tolochko  /
City Kyiv / Kyiv /
Pages 148 S.
ISBN 978-966-02-6266-9
Detail There has been a long-standing gap between Slavists studying the process of Christianization in Rus´ with a focus on Byzantine Orthodoxy and medievalists studying the same process in Scandinavia with a focus on Latin Christendom. Such a historiographic dichotomy is partly the understandable result of the institutional and linguistic divisions between medievalists and Slavists, but it is also due to the realities of modern European geopolitics, whereby Scandinavia and Eastern Europe belong to two distinct parts of Europe differing in terms of their political organization, social complexion and culture. This contemporary division has been projected upon the remote historical past all the way back to the advent of Christianity in these northern and eastern regions of medieval Europe. Yet such a ‘teleological’ approach to early Christianity contradicts material evidence, which points to common social, political and cultural processes that were developing in late Viking Age Scandinavia and Rus´. In this north-eastern edge of medieval Europe, the contacts and links between the two regions in the tenth and eleventh centuries were as numerous and influential as the better-explored relationships between Scandinavia and its western neighbours on the one hand, and the wellestablished links between Rus´ and Byzantium on the other.1 The question, then, is whether we should expect that the dissemination of early Christianity in Scandinavia and Rus´ in that period was profoundly different from more general patterns of interactions between the two regions. /// There has been a long-standing gap between Slavists studying the process of Christianization in Rus´ with a focus on Byzantine Orthodoxy and medievalists studying the same process in Scandinavia with a focus on Latin Christendom. Such a historiographic dichotomy is partly the understandable result of the institutional and linguistic divisions between medievalists and Slavists, but it is also due to the realities of modern European geopolitics, whereby Scandinavia and Eastern Europe belong to two distinct parts of Europe differing in terms of their political organization, social complexion and culture. This contemporary division has been projected upon the remote historical past all the way back to the advent of Christianity in these northern and eastern regions of medieval Europe. Yet such a ‘teleological’ approach to early Christianity contradicts material evidence, which points to common social, political and cultural processes that were developing in late Viking Age Scandinavia and Rus´. In this north-eastern edge of medieval Europe, the contacts and links between the two regions in the tenth and eleventh centuries were as numerous and influential as the better-explored relationships between Scandinavia and its western neighbours on the one hand, and the wellestablished links between Rus´ and Byzantium on the other.1 The question, then, is whether we should expect that the dissemination of early Christianity in Scandinavia and Rus´ in that period was profoundly different from more general patterns of interactions between the two regions. ///

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