Summary, in English
The connection between rune stones and churches is a known phenomenon. Unfortunately, very little is known about the previous function of the church sites, and consequently very little is known about what the connection between rune stones and churches means. The purpose of this study is to examine the rune stones connected to churches in the administrative province of Jönköping, in an effort to ascertain their purpose, symbolism and function. The aim is to find out if the rune stones connected to churches were primarily or secondarily placed on the site where the church was later built, and why some rune stones were built into the churches. Further, the inscriptions and iconography of rune stones have been analysed, and also their relation to their immediate surroundings. The first study in the essay is a macroanalysis where I try to answer the questions about the built-in rune stones. The second study in the essay examines four church sites, the rune stones connected to the churches and their immediate surroundings. The sites have been studied in depth to provide insights into the purpose and function of the rune stones. With these studies I try to establish whether if the rune stones have functioned as a link between pagan traditions and Christian belief, and if the transition between paganism and Christianity is observable also in the surroundings. The study shows that rune stones were primarily placed at the churches, and that the church sites probably are former cult centres or local meeting places, since the sites often have a clear cult place continuity. Furthermore, the results indicate that the rune stones have been a link between pagan tradition and Christian belief, both in their composition and their placing in the landscape. No systematic insertion of rune stones into churches can be discovered, but that doesn't exclude the possibility that the insertions had a purpose. The insertion of the stones
may be due to the Church not accepting the rune stones, as they are personal Christian initiatives and native monuments.