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Humanities Symposia continues with “Blood Feud and Sacred Space in Njal’s Saga”

By Jarod Davis
Communication ’20

Trine University’s Spring 2020 Humanities Symposia continues Tuesday, March 24, with “Blood Feud and Sacred Space in Njal’s Saga.”

The Symposia is presented by Trine’s Department of Humanities and Communication (HAC). Sessions are held in Wells Theater inside Taylor Hall, with each symposium set to begin at 3:30 p.m.

Melissa Mayus, Ph.D., professor for the Jannen School of Arts and Sciences, will discuss Old Norse-Icelandic sagas and, in more detail, Njal’s Saga.

Burnt NjalNjal’s Saga is among the most famous of the sagas and includes the tale of a long-running feud that culminates in the burning down of the titular character’s home. Yet, strange things happen around several of the characters before they die. Mayus will discuss the ways ideas about blood feud and sacred space interact in that pivotal scene to blur the lines between Christian and pagan.

“My research centers on the ways that religion and early medieval literature intertwine,” said Mayus. “This presentation is part of a larger study I’m working on that examines how different understandings of sacred space can change how we understand both Christian and non-Christian religious moments in the Old Norse-Icelandic sagas.”

Trine’s Humanities Symposia is free and open to the public. Talks usually last about 30 minutes and are immediately followed by time for any questions, which usually leads to a total time of one hour. Wells Theater seats 75 guests, so attendees are encouraged to arrive early if they have specific seating preferences.

For more information about the Symposia, contact Mayus at mayusm@trine.edu.