This book argues that within Germanic paganism we can identify a coherent picture of fate which detaches that idea from time, and connects it instead to an implicit thesis about the nature of truth as written. An analysis of mythological Norse figures such as the Norns - goddesses of destiny and guardians of the world ash-tree, Yggdrasill - provides the essential context for understanding metaphors for fate as being woven or spun. By employing a philosophical approach to the significance of some well-known myths, the book offers fresh insights into the persistence of pagan belief in fate following the conversion of the Germanic peoples to Christianity.
Table of Contents
Introduction1. Paganism in Myth and Cult2. Mythical Space and Time3. Cosmogony and the World-Tree4. Spinning and Weaving Fate5. The Logic of Fatalism6. From Pagan Fate to Christian ProvidenceNotesBibliographyIndex
Anthony Winterbourne was born and educated in London, and holds degrees in philosophy from the University of Bristol. His first book was The Ideal and the Real: Kant's Theory of Space, Time and Mathematical Construction. He has contributed numerous papers to academic journals and published two books on the philosophical context of Wagnerian opera.