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This article offers a new perspective on the century-old discussion of sacral rulers in the history of religions generally, and pre-Christian Scandinavian religions specifically, namely the application of a cultural evolutionary theoretical framework based on the work of Robert N. Bellah. In doing this, the article opens the possibility of wider typological comparisons within this paradigm and suggests a nuancing of Bellah's typology with the addition of the category of 'chiefdom religion'.fatcat:clfvlqpeirbcrnqvnoyvz2wjcy