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7. Pagan Myth and Christian Doctrine

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Chapter Summary

This chapter claims that the combination of pagan and Christian motifs is part of a pattern of semiotics or hermeneutics that draws from an originally Christian tradition, but one which was elaborated upon within this particular cultural zone or semiosphere. The fusing of Christian motifs together with those of indigenous, pre-Christian, mythology had long been articulated in the literary tradition of the monastic centres in Ireland. The chapter argues that the combined iconography of these stones, of Christian tradition and pagan myth, may display a two dimensional meaning, even a polyvalence, if it is analyzed within the context of the literary tradition of the vernacular language of the western area at the time. An area where Norse language and culture is encountered with Irish/Celtic language and culture as it is marked out by the stones referred to on which krus is used: Man, south-western Scotland and Ireland.

Keywords: Celtic language; Christian motifs; iconography; Ireland; Norse language; pagan myth; semiotics



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