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Om källvärdet av kyrkplatssägner för studiet av nedlagda medeltidskyrkor
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Medieval Studies.
2010 (Swedish)In: Bebyggelsehistorisk tidskrift, ISSN 0349-2834, Vol. 60, 22-37 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

On the source value of legends about church sites for the study of deserted medieval churches

It is a well-known fact, that not all churches built in the Middle Ages were upheld into the early modern period. Some were closed down already in the Middle Ages or in connection with the Reformation, especially in areas where the churches lied very close to each other. Such churches are often difficult to trace and localize, due to the scarcity of sources. Recently, however, some scholars have claimed that it would be possible to trace such churches with the help of legends about church sites. But does such a method work? The author’s answer to that question is negative. Through a critical analysis of legends about church sites recorded in the province of Jämtland, Mid-Scandinavia, he demonstrates that the legends have been, as a rule, invented by people in the local community to explain and give meaning to a place name, an abandoned place, an ancient monument or other remarkable things that have been observed in the landscape.

Legends about church sites may, in some cases, be connected to places with names containing the words kyrka or kapell in the first element, where there in fact has been a church or a chapel standing a long time ago. In such cases, the legend cannot be seen as an extra indication to the place name when it comes to tracing the deserted church, since the legend might well be an explanatory legend to the place name and thus dependent on this.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 60, 22-37 p.
Keyword [en]
Churches, Legends, Middle Ages, Scandinavia, Jämtland
National Category
History Religious Studies
Research subject
History; kyrkohistoria; Ethnology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-52423OAI: diva2:387470
Available from: 2011-01-14 Created: 2011-01-14 Last updated: 2011-02-16Bibliographically approved

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Holm, Olof
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