Early churches that represented the beginning convergence of Christian missionaries' ideas, living among those retaining traditional beliefs, had vitality i their very appearance: dragons retained under rooflines, as at Vik. There was mutual enrichment as people's faiths converged, entered into dialogue, with mutual respect to forms and ideas, This ended abruptly on the main traffic routes. Institutional power forces demanded conformity and adherence to a fixed ideology on pain of death.
Hoyjord Stave Church: No dragons, no heritage. That brief early Christianizing period of cross-pollination, neighbor with neighbor, stopped abruptly closer to the coasts where there was traffic and institutional religious purist busybodies; but lingered longer further north.
Here, instead of a vital amalgam of life forces, Christianity as an institution from afar became neighbor against neighbor, and over time, stripped away the links people earlier had with their heritage There is no gallery outside, no series of rooflines, each reaching up. The only semblance to the stave churches that truly survived is the shake pattern on the roof, overlapping U's or V's, themselves resembling dragon scales.
Here, there are no dragons, no forms even representing the isues religions have confronted throughout history: forces against forces, and where to turn. Ambiguity. Instead, meet Hoyjord Stave Church. Stripped bare, and looking like, ye gods, New England and its restrictions. Is this what the Christ intended, truncated opportunities for spiritual development?Its evolution from vitality to sterility. This looks like blinking New England/
Find a panoply of Norway's weathervanes, including several like this, at http://ginniehart.blogspot.com/2011/05/norway-weathervanes-etc.html/.
Watch for this shape, some say derived from the prows of viking longboats, all over Norway. A vestige of early energy.