Research topic: Folk religion
Folk religion is a term used to denote religious beliefs existing in parallel with official religious practices and beliefs.
Folk religion does not make up a systematic or comprehensive theological framework, but can rather be considered the sum of various folk beliefs. Examples of such beliefs are beliefs in supernatural forces, beings and contexts.
In Norway traditional folk religion has existed side by side with the official Christian church, while at the same time borrowing, using and reinterpreting aspects of official beliefs and practices.
Folk religions reflect the attitudes, values and norms of the societies of which they form a part. Since the industrialisation of agriculture and the growth of the natural sciences, fewer and fewer people claim to have met wood nymphs, while increasing numbers claim to have encountered UFOs.
Some areas of live however are just as inexplicable and meaningful as they ever were. Accordingly ideas about death, for example, continue to be relevant in modern societies, while at the same time the meaning contained in these ideas may have changed in line with contemporary views of Death.
Norske trolldomsprosesser (Norsk Folkeminnesamling)