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The Forerunner: The Relationship To God

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Chapter Summary

In the analysis of the relationship to God, the emphasis is on the early phase up to c. 1200. The primary reason for this is that the relationship to God is of interest as a forerunner and a model for the royal ideology that, with the exception of the documents from Magnus Erlingsson?s time, is poorly illuminated before c. 1200. The relationship to God consisted not only of a bond of obedience that was the same for everyone. It also varied according to how zealously people served God, and those who served him most diligently could achieve a higher position than others. The concept of service thus opened the way for differentiation between people and for a reciprocal aspect in the relationship to God. This chapter looks more closely at the asymmetrical and high-status character of the service relationship.

Keywords: forerunner; God; obedience; royal ideology; service relationship



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