1 Darkness in the East? Eastern influence in Scandinavia during the Viking Age and Early Middle Ages The paper focuses on an ongoing discussion as to whether impulses from the Greek Orthodox Christianity influenced the earliest stages of Christianity in Scandinavia. It is a debate that has engaged modern archaeologists on one hand, who have found ample evidence of eastern influence, and a modern generation of church historians on the other hand, supported by a few art historians, who has flatly denied any such influence. In the paper I will take a critical look on the type of arguments used by the church historians and their art historian colleagues. Partly inspired by the situation in the western part of pre-crusade Finland with its 11th-century Christian burials and the survival in the Finnish language of remnants of a Church Slavonic Christian vocabulary I will also briefly introduce the concept Varangian Christianity as a vehicle to explain both eastern influence on early Christianity in Scandinavia (including parts of Finland), observed by archaeologists, and the western (Scandinavian) influence on early Christianity in Rus’, which so far has attracted little attention.