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Date

5-6-2020

Description

This proposed paper will analyze an Icelandic Saga, Gísli SÃ'rsson'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 Giorgio Agamben, William Ian Miller, and other scholars of medieval outlawry, the paper will focus 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 negotiation of boundaries, turn from paganism, and acceptance of his fate. Through Gísli, I argue the presence of a hyperreality or axis mundi, a spiritual bridge, within the presentation of Iceland's conversion to Christianity. This argument is relevant to current issues regarding colliding ethnic backgrounds and the liminal space between people and ideas. It also furthers the study of Iceland's sagas as examples of historical immigration narratives and texts of spiritual significance.

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May 6th, 12:00 AM

Fatal Limits: Outlawry and Liminal Space in Gísli's Saga

This proposed paper will analyze an Icelandic Saga, Gísli SÃ'rsson'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 Giorgio Agamben, William Ian Miller, and other scholars of medieval outlawry, the paper will focus 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 negotiation of boundaries, turn from paganism, and acceptance of his fate. Through Gísli, I argue the presence of a hyperreality or axis mundi, a spiritual bridge, within the presentation of Iceland's conversion to Christianity. This argument is relevant to current issues regarding colliding ethnic backgrounds and the liminal space between people and ideas. It also furthers the study of Iceland's sagas as examples of historical immigration narratives and texts of spiritual significance.