The 19th seminar of the Interdisciplinary network for pre-modern studies at Tartu University takes place on Monday, November 26.
Ülo Valk will give a talk called: "THUNDER AND THE DEVIL: HISTORY OF A FOLK BELIEF"
The seminar will take place in the library of Skandinavistika (Ülikooli 17, 3rd floor, room 305) at 18.15.
Wine, bread, fruit, cheese and ham will be served.
Ülo has sent us a short presentation of the lecture:
"The motif of thunder (pikne, äike) chasing the Devil (kurat, vanapagan) who is killed by lightning appears in different genres of Estonian folklore. This is the most popular Estonian folk explanation for the phenomenon of thunder. It is a widely spread international belief that thunder is a celestial deity who destroys evil powers. It has been traced to proto-Indo-European mythology and obviously belongs to the oldest layers of Finno-Ugric beliefs. The paper will discuss the persistence and transformation of this belief in the context of spread of Christian worldview, education and literacy in Estonia. It will shed light on genre dynamics and hybridity of Estonian folklore during the last centuries, when study-books of nature and ideas of national romanticism transformed the more traditional vernacular beliefs of rural communities. Sources of the Estonian Folklore Archives appear as a heteroglot body of heritage, where religious beliefs coexist with neomythological and materialist discourses."
The Pre-modern seminar is an interdisciplinary and informal seminar at Tartu University organized by the Department of Scandinavian Studies. It was founded in 2010 and has so far arranged 18 meetings with talks by scholars on different levels, both from Estonia and from abroad. The focus is on pre-1800 issues of all kinds.
Everybody is welcome!
Professor of Scandinavian Studies
daniel.savborg [at] ut.ee