This book argues that within Germanic paganism, considered not as mere cult but as a system of beliefs, it is possible to identify a conceptually coherent understanding of fate which detaches that idea from time, and connects it instead with an implicit theses about the nature of truth as written. Germanic cosmogony, as represented in such precise images as a world-tree, provides a context for an analysis of specific metaphors for the workings of fate as woven or spun by such figures as the Nornsthe Norse goddesses of destiny. Employing both philosophical and mythic-linguistic considerations, this book also offers new insights into the persistence of a residual paganism in the understanding of fate following the Christian conversion.
During his years as a lecturer, Anthony Winterbourne's primary philosophical interests were German metaphysics and epistemology, in which fields he contributed a number of papers to academic journals. His first book was The Ideal and the Real: An Outline of Kant's theory of Space, Time and Mathematical Construction, and he also published two books on the philosophical context of Wagnerian music-drama: Speaking to Our Condition: Moral Frameworks in Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung (FDUP, 2003), and A Pagan Spoiled: Sex and Character in Wagner's Parsifal (FDUP, 2003). He has recently turned his attention to comparative mythology, from which research the present volume is a result. Dr. Winterbourne was born and educated in London, and holds degrees in philosophy from the University of Bristol