1st Student's Major

World Languages and Cultures

1st Student's College

Arts and Humanities

Students' Professional Biography

My name is Nathanael Rhody. Currently, I am working towards a Double Major in German and in Scandinavian Studies at Minnesota State University Mankato. I completed The Heliand: The Warrior's Strength and the Transcendence of Faith during my junior year as a Capstone project for my German Bachelor of Arts degree. I grew up in South America and have been overseas several times—either as a volunteer farm-hand or a student. This included a year in Erlangen, Germany from 2010-2011 when I went on the Study Abroad program to study and immerse myself in German language and culture. Future plans after finishing my Undergraduate degree remain hitherto loose and uncertain. However, I hope to get involved in a career that will enable me to live overseas in non-English speaking countries again.

Mentor's Name

Nadja Krämer

Mentor's Email Address


Mentor's Department

World Languages and Cultures

Mentor's College

Arts and Humanities


The research project centered on the literary text, Heliand, a biblical paraphrase of the Gospel originally written in Old Saxon in the 9th century. Throughout this period, Christianity was steadily spreading to the pagan lands of northern Europe. Because this initially involved a form cultural clash between the Christian and Germanic world-views, Christianity is often thought to have been an overt replacement of the earlier traditional folk-culture of these lands. The Heliand, though, expresses differently by drawing parallels between the old Germanic warrior culture and the Christian faith. The project examines how this is accomplished by exploring deeper into the specific foundations that defined Germanic tribal culture of the day and how the Heliand appealed to each element in terms of the intimacy of kinship, the heroism of individual conduct and the presence of strong spiritual forces such Fate. Additionally, the project takes into consideration the effects of certain historical events, such as the Saxon Wars and the conversion stories of some of the major Germanic tribes, and the roles they played in the final incorporation of the Germanic culture into Christendom. In the end, this text has given greater insight on how the person of Jesus Christ, as the center of the Christian faith, could also be the ultimate embodiment of the warrior ideology of the northern peoples.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.