Linguistic foundations for the reconstruction of Indo-European religion

Jackson's primary scholarly concern is the development of a safe basis for the comparative and linguistically informed approach to the religions of pre-Christian Europe and Vedic India. His current research concerns interferences between the Homeric Hymn to Hermes and allusions to the so-called "Vala-myth" in the Vedic hymns. Traces of similar themes also occur in Iranian ond Old Irish texts. A dominant theme in the Vedic and Greek version of the myth is the theft and tracking of sacrificial cattle, whose liberation is associated with the light of the sun and the gift of poetic vision.

The current project will result in a monograph entitled The Invention of Sacrifice: Sacrificial Aetiologies in Greek and Vedic Poetry.

Jackson will further contribute to the project with articles/book chapters, and he proposes to arrange courses and seminars on general topics of Indo-European religion, mythology and poetics which would include both methodological considerations and in-depth comparative analysis of important source material.

Anders Hultgård will primarily be concerned with Scandinavian religion in its Indo-European context, where particular attention will be given to the possible relation with ancient Iranian religion. 

Scholars in charge

Professor Peter Jackson
Professor emeritus Anders Hultgård