What was  the Anglo-Saxon Religion?  

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ophelious eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Anglo-Saxon religion is what most people would call "paganism" or "heathenism." This is meant to reflect the localized nature of their beliefs.  In England, the Anglo-Saxon's form of paganism would persevere as the dominant religion until the time that Christianity made it to the island in about 700 AD.

In short, the Anglo-Saxon religion was similar to the type of paganism found in much of the Germanic areas of northern Europe.  It was polytheistic, which refers to the fact that it contained many different gods.  These gods, together, were known as the e'se. The most important of these was one named Woden, which is why the religion is sometimes known as Wodenism.

The Anglo-Saxon beliefs centered around reoccurring rituals meant to win favor with the gods through ceremony and the sacrifice of both objects and animals.  These ceremonies, generally occurring yearly, are thought to have included elements of ritualized "magic." Funerals involved either burial or cremation, the former often occurring with a cache of funerary objects.

Anglo-Saxon religion is similar to other "folk" religions in that it was thought that supernatural creatures such as Elves and dragons influenced the environment and that spirits could shape a person's destiny.

Not a whole lot is known about the specifics of Anglo-Saxon religion, but much of the mystique and practices survived in folk stories.  One quirk most people don't think about is the fact that most of the days of the week are derived from this religion.  Most telling is Wednesday, which means "Woden's Day."

makhdoom | Student

What was the Anglo-saxan religion & explain their total history