International Conference in Bergen

Welcome to our International Conference, «Moster 1024 - Crossroads of religion and law in the conversion of Norway» at the University Aula in Bergen, 17th and 18th of April, with excursion to Moster 19th of April.

We are happy to announce the Conference «Moster 1024 - Crossroads of religion and law in the conversion of Norway», which will take place at the University Aula in Bergen, from 17th to 18th of April 2024. The conference will celebrate the 1000-year-jubilee of the first Christian Law of Norway and aims to present new trends in research relevant to conversion and Christian legislation in Norway and elsewhere.

The conference has an interdisciplinary approach and has attracted scholars from various disciplines relevant to the theme, such as archaeology, legal history (indigenous law as well as Canon law), history, history of ideas, manuscript studies, philology, and theology. Although the conference focuses on Norway and Norwegian law, presentations with a comparative perspective drawing on areas outside Norway has also been highly welcomed. The chronological focus of the conference is on c. 900 – c. 1200.

We are pleased to announce the following program and plenary speakers for the Conference:

17th of April, 2024:

Welcome speech


Jon Askeland, County Mayor in Vestland County, M24 (TBA)

Keynote speaker 1

09.10 – 10.00

Chair: Anders Winroth, University of Oslo

  • Lesley Abrams, Oxford University, Conversion Dynamics: Persuasion, Accommodation, Coercion

Coffee Break / Technical change

SESSION 1 – Early Crosses and Churches in an International Context

10.15 – 11.45

Chair: Alf Tore Hommedal, University of Bergen

  • Iris Crouwers, Independent scholar, Malmö, Stone Crosses at Assembly Sites and Mounds - Their Origins and Long-term Roles.
  • Kjartan Hauglid and Bjørg Agasöster, Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU), A New Dating of Moster Old Church  
  • Kristian Reinfjord, Anno Museum, Hamar, Moster and Early Romanesque Norway – Stone Technology and Conversion


11.45 – 12.45

SESSION 2 – Strategies of Conversion

12.45 – 14.15

Chair: Torstein Jørgensen, VID Specialized University

  • Timothy Bolton, Stockholm (Honorary Fellow of Bristol University), The Politics of 1024 that Lead to Moster, and was Olaf's 'Strategy of Conversion' there too bold?
  • Sigrun Høgetveit Berg, The Arctic University of Norway (UiT), Northward Bound: Conversion and Integration iuxta paganos.
  • Anna Elisa Tryti, Vestland County Council, and Alf Tore Hommedal, University of Bergen, Female Force and Conflicting Female Images in the Conversion of Western Norway

Coffee Break / Technical change

SESSION 3 – Paganism and Christianity in the Conversion of Norway

14.30 – 16.00

Chair: Kirsi Salonen, University of Bergen

  • Anne Irene Risøy and Bernt Øyvind Thorvaldsen, University of South-Eastern Norway, Assemblies - Strategic Places of Conversion from Above as well as Below
  • Peter Sigurdson Lunga, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Counterarguments in Norwegian Conversion Narratives: Tradition, Aesthetics, and Autonomy
  • Sean Lawing, Bryn Athyn College, Folk Belief in the Earliest Christian Laws for Norway

Coffee Break / Technical change

SESSION 4 – Round Table - Religious Transformation from a Global Perspective

16.15 – 17.15

Chair: Alexandros Tsakos, University of Bergen

  • Christian Bull, University of Bergen
  • Eirik Hovden, University of Bergen
  • Anna Elisa Tryti, Vestland County Council

18th of April, 2024:

Keynote speaker 2

09.00 – 10.00

Chair: Øystein Morten, Independent Scholar and Author, Rollag

  • Torgeir Landro, NLA University College, Law and Religion: The Christian Law at Moster

Coffee Break / Technical change

SESSION 5 – Dynamics of Law and Rituals

10.15 – 11.45

Chair: Anne Irene Risøy, University of South-Eastern Norway

  • Brage Thunestvedt Hatløy, University of Bergen,“The Norwegian Kings as Legislators in Relation to Christian and Canon Law after 1024”. 
  • Keith Ruiter, University of Suffolk, Trees Holding Hands: Comparative Historical and Analogical Approaches to Customary Law
  • Eivor Oftestad, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Strategies of Conversion: The Christianization of Time, Memory and Mystery


11.45 – 12.45

SESSION 6 – Law at Moster and in Europe

12.45 – 14.15

Chair: Kirsi Salonen, University of Bergen

  • Tore Storehaug, University of Oslo, St. Olaf as a Legendary Law Giver
  • John Burden, Boston College, What Law Book did Bishop Grimkjell Bring to Moster?
  • Stefan Drechsler, University of Bergen, The "St Olav’s Law" on Parchment and in Literature 
  • Anders Winroth, University of Oslo, To Be Friends with the King, and with God

Coffee Break / Technical change

SESSION 7 – Stories, Chant, and Hagiography about Conversion

14.30 – 16.00

Chair: Oddvar J. Jensen, MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society

  • Elizabeth Marie Walgenbach, Institute for Icelandic Studies, Reykjavík, Ari Frodi, Moster, and Micro Narratives on the Establishment and Writing of Christian Laws 
  • Roman Hankeln, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Reflecting and Legitimizing Mission in the Chants of the Medieval Divine Office
  • Steffen Andre Birkeland Hope, University of Oslo, Stories of a Violent Triumph – The Conversion of Norway in Light of the Hagiographical Tradition

Coffee Break / Technical change

Closing summary

16.15 – 17.00

  • Torstein Jørgensen, VID Specialized University, Stavanger, and Anne Irene Risøy, University of South-Eastern Norway, What Did We Learn? A Dialogue About Two Days of Conference.

19th of April, 2024:




Departure Bergen, Scandic Byparken Hotel



Guided tour through the cultural monument Lysekloster, Norway's oldest Cistercian monastery.



Lunch in Moster Amfi.



Moster Old Churchwith a local guide.



Exhibition in MosterAmfi - "From Paganism to Christianity"          



Coffee break withsweets in Moster Amfi.



A walk through the marble tunnel and the mine exhibition -

«The Stone Kingdom ofBømlo»



Moster attractions: Walks to the local lime mime and/ or the old cross monument from the 900th-jubilee at Vetahaugen



Departure back to Bergen



Arrival Scandic Byparken



Excursion fee

1500 NOK (includes transportation, food and activities)


Sign up for the excursion by emailing


Deadline signing up for excursion

20th of March 2024

The Conference Committee,

Alf Tore Hommedal, Oddvar Johan Jensen, Torstein Jørgensen, Øystein Morten, Torgeir Landro, Anne Irene Risøy, Kirsi Salonen, Anna Elisa Tryti and Anders Winroth.

The conference is also a part of Vestland County celebration of Landslovjubileet

Register for the conference below

The registration will stay open until 10th of April - or until the seats are filled. Be aware of limited seating.