"The author successfully uses primary sources such as Norse sagas and church homilies to reconstruct and explore not only the changing church, but also the lay community's changing understanding of the church. ... Nedkvitne attempts to illustrate an incredibly complex and often overlooked aspect of medieval religious understanding. This important work, clearly written for experts in the field of religious history with a firm understanding of the source material and time period, successfully advances research and understanding of lay belief in Norse society. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students, faculty, specialists." - A.A. Leykam, CHOICE, June 2010 Vol. 47 No. 10.
"Three meaty chapters on ritual, ethics, and supernatural intervention in Norway and Iceland form the trunk of the book. There is abundant useful material here: a tabulation of biblical, Latin, and local saints' feast days, a clear and concise typology af last rites, an illuminating comparison between medieval and modern Norwegians' annual vacations (90 and 136 days, respectively), and more. Nedkvitne controls Norway's sparse sources as expertly
as the better-known Icelandic ones. And unlike Anglophone Nordicists, whose sensibilities
generally run literary, he traces his lineage to social history, fueling some radicai departures
from accepted wisdom (e.g., pp. 221-22). This is the stuff constructive controversy is made of. ... The book is handsomely produced, with stunning color photographs of many sites and artifacts." - Oren Falk, Speculum, 85/3 - 2010.