Study Guide

This is a working draft of a study guide. Please feel free to send suggestions for questions!


  1. Why did immigrants from Sweden and Norway find an appeal in the notion that Vikings/Norsemen had once visited the American Midwest?
  2. Why were so many of Minnesota’s Catholics willing to believe in Holand’s rune stone narrative?
  3. What strategies did Halmar Holand use to persuade the public that theĀ Kensington Rune Stone was authentic?
  4. What does the story of the Kensington Rune Stone reveal about cultural tensions among Americans based on things like region, education level, race, class, etc.?
  5. The author argues that belief in the Kensington Rune Stone and its accompanying narrative is “religious.” What does that mean and do you find his argument to be persuasive?
  6. Why do you think that origin myths or founding myths have been so appealing to Americans?
  7. Why do you think it is that humans are often willing to believe things that contradict science?

One thought on “Study Guide

  1. What do YOU actually know about the Kensington Runestone? Have you seen it in person? Do you actually believe that an un-educated dirt farmer carved it himself and then buried it in his field, planted a 30 ft tree above it? Before you slander the authenticity of this stone, you should offer a plausible explanation as to it’s presence.

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