Becoming Christian: A Matter of Everyday Resistance and Negotiation
(2015) Norwegian Archaeological Review, 19 p. Article in Press.
The diverse appearances of church buildings, iconography and altered burial practices have commonly been used to exemplify the expansion of Christianity in early medieval Europe. Less emphasis has been placed on how the common European dealt with the Christian transformation in daily life, perhaps because of the tendency in research to distinguish ritual actions from secular. To become Christian did not necessarily entail greater religiousness or deeper religious devotion but centred rather on how people synchronized their everyday lives, both religious and secular, in accordance with Christian doctrine and the laws imposed by the Roman Church. However, social transformations do not emerge exclusively from political or administrative institutions, such as the Church or other ruling authority; they also emerge interactively, through the general public, who are equally capable of exercising power by taking part in societal discourse. With reference to examples from early medieval Iceland, this article argues for the application of Foucault’s theory of power relations and everyday resistance to research on the adoption of Christianity, beyond time and space.
dualism, Christianization; Foucault; post-colonialism; power relations