John Lindow

    John Lindow

  • Professor Emeritus
  • Old Norse/Folklore
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Professor Lindow’s research focuses on two areas. Within the Old Norse-Icelandic literary tradition, he is particularly interested in myth and religion and the texts and genres that reflect them. In his research on the folklore of northern Europe, Lindow has specialized in the stories of the rural countryside, from Greenland to Karelia. Common to his research in both areas is an attempt to understand how texts function, both internally and in their greater literary and cultural contexts, with the concept of “culture” understood broadly. His current major project, undertaken cooperatively with a number of international scholars, involves a multi-volume presentation of current thinking about pre-Christian religion of the North, using not only the textual evidence but also archaeological and comparative evidence. Lindow has taught as a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Iceland and held a research appointment at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in Uppsala.


Comitatus, Individual and Honor: Studies in North Germanic Institutional Vocabulary. University of California Publications in Linguistics, 83. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1976.

Swedish Legends and Folktales. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1978.

Old Norse-Icelandic Literature: A Critical Guide. Ed. with Carol Clover. Cornell Univ. Press, 1985. Rpt. University of Toronto Press, 2005.

Structure and Meaning in Old Norse Literature: New Approaches to Textual Analysis and Literary Criticism. Ed. John Lindow, Lars Lönnroth and Gerd Wolfgang Weber. Viking Series, 3. Odense: Odense University Press, 1986.

Scandinavian Mythology: An Annotated Bibliography. Garland Folklore Bibliographies, 13; Garland Reference Library of the Humanities, 393. New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1988.

Murder and Vengeance Among the Gods: Baldr in Scandinavian Mythology. FF Communications, 262. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1997.

Medieval Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Myths, Legends, Tales, Beliefs, and Customs. Ed. Carl Lindahl, John McNamara, and John Lindow. ABC Clio, 2000. Also Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2002.

Norse Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs. Oxford etc.: Oxford Univ. Press, 2002.

Trolls: An Unnatural History. London: Reaktion Books, 2014.