Wisdom is knowing when to appreciate differences and when to appreciate similarities.
Both are vital. Both are problematic.
I immerse my time primarily in the Hebraic (and sometimes Greek and Aramaic) scriptures of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Tanakh and associated apocryphal and other West Asian/North African cultural texts, ... doing cognitive linguistic word studies in some later sapiential texts, for example.
Cool. In an other venue, I want to hear more.
Which surprises me even more given your aversion to the idea of Norse polytheism given the wealth of evidence that supports this basic idea.
My aversion is against the historical German project that tries to force Scandinavians to become Germans. They are not the same. Allow them to be different. Let Scandinavians figure out for themselves who Scandinavians are. And let Germans figure out for themselves who Germans are. Stop trying to turn Scandinavians into Germans.
The same principle applies at a different magnitude. I consider the Sámi an admirable aspect of Scandinavians. The Sámi are distinctive, but I hope the Sámi feel part of the rest of Scandinavians too. (Regarding y-haplogroups, I1 and R1a are also modal, in addition to N3. So at least in this sense they are part of the family of Scandinavia.) At the same time, I must allow Sámi to figure out for themselves who the Sámi are − including who Sámi feel affinity with.
Boundaries are healthy. It is ok to respect differences.
Which mostly reaffirms the main ideas that we knew while playing a game of semantics regarding the word "Germanic" while not doing the same for "Nordic," which is where I would cast my own counter criticism.
Given the evidence available today, it is scientifically more accurate to call the language ‘Nordic’, a language that was once widely spoken in Scandinavia. At least in the 000s (zero hundreds, first century CE), there is a population in Skáney in Sweden who appear to be speaking a language that seems to resemble what linguists reconstructed as Proto-Germanic. But now it has an identifiable place, and a name. Presumably, at least the southern coastlands of Scandinavia are also speaking this language or something like it.
Nordic has continuity with later Proto-Norse, then Norse, then Scandinavian languages today.
Today Germany includes different regions that derive from different ethnic influences. In the extreme north of Germany, there probably is a population who speak something like Nordic during the 000s. But what the languages are elsewhere is less evident. At least by the 400s, there are tribes in Germany who never spoke Nordic but who adopted a language that has some continuity with the earlier Nordic. But there were also differences. These later tribes never became ‘Nordic’. They borrowed a language but also reinvented it, transforming it in new linguistic environments, and making it a vehicle to express a distinctive ethnic identity.
Compare today England. The English language features some continuity with the Nordic language. But there was never a time when the population in England was speaking Nordic.
Around the 400s, there were influential communities in England that came from the Danish Peninsula and neighboring areas. But the rest of England were speakers of Celtic languages. Eventually, significant numbers adopted this language, but they never became Danish. The English reinvented the language. Made it their own. Today England is a unique (and kinda awesome) ethnic group.
Similarities and differences.
We are still dealing with cultures that have been highly interlinked with what we would conventionally think of as "Germanic" peoples, even if the latter have undergone Christianization.
Until the Viking Period, communities in Norway seem less ‘interlinking’. On the other hand, communities in Germany seem more ‘interlinking’.
Today for convenience, archeologists talk about ‘Norwegian vikings’, ‘Swedish vikings’, and ‘Danish vikings’. It seems to me useful to also talk about ‘German vikings’. Was everyone in Germany a viking? Of course, not. But are there parts of Germany participating in Viking Period culture? Yes.
The important Viking Period archeological site, Heiðabýr (German Haithabu, English Hedeby), is in today Germany. Archeologically, it has vibrant continuity with other parts of Germany. For example, the material culture includes clothing styles found elsewhere in Germany, but not in Norway.
To allow ‘Norwegian vikings’ to differ from ‘German vikings’, is more accurate and more respectful. Of course, regions in Norway can also preserve significant differences from each other.
This methodology of respecting differences, has useful implications for other Norse topics, such as the tradition of Óðinn. In Norway, placenames suggest which nature spirits are significant. Óðinn is unimportant in Norway. Hypothetically, there might be parts of Norway where even the name ‘Óðinn’ is unknown. By contrast, in Germany, placenames suggest Óðinn is important in Germany.
It helps to reconstruct precisely the spirituality of the community in Heiðabýr. Do they understand Óðinn to be more like a shamanic nature spirit or more like a Roman god? The evidence in Heiðabýr might answer the question, as long as we are talking about Heiðabýr.
The archeological and textual evidence demonstrates, there are places in Norway that are strictly animistic, even nonpolytheistic. At the same time, there are places in Germany that are strictly polytheistic, even nonanimistic. When discussing thresholds, it is possible to seek descriptions that are precise and accurate.
Compare Native nations in the Americas. It would be absurd to assume that the Inuit and the Aztecs are the same ethnic group. Despite most of Native populations descending from the same ancestors, they evolve diversely. Even within the same area, different tribes can have surprisingly different spiritualities. Even in the same tribe, different family spiritual traditions can vary significantly. As far as I am aware, all Natives in the US and Canada are animistic. But some tribes in the Eastern Woodlands region had developed spiritual traditions that are simultaneously animistic and monotheistic, perceiving a transcendent Great Spirit as originator of all immanent nature spirits. Elsewhere, such as in the Southwest, some tribes developed spiritual traditions that are simultaneously animistic and polytheistic, perceiving a creator who became the sun in the sky, who hierarchically requires obedience and service. By contrast, consider the Thunderbird among Northwest Coast tribes, who despite the perception of great power and the custom of elaborate ceremony is always a nature spirit, never a ‘thunder god’. Notice also various regions where tribes are both agricultural and strictly pure animistic.
This pervasive animism that evolves a network of overlapping local spiritualities, resembles Scandinavia.
It is important to respect differences.
My Dad just visited me. Heh, under the stress of preparing for a stay in Norway, he and his fiance had a fight. My Dad said about it. ‘In this relationship, I try hard to look for common ground. But there are limits!’