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This is a magisterial study, its size commensurate with a scope extending from the fifth century to the twelfth, a scope which--to judge from the author's thirty-four appearances in the bibliography-- reflects a long and productive gestation. Having programmatically adopted the term minster in its Anglo-Saxon sense of 'any kind of religious establishment with a church' p.
One might look equally to his statement, slicing neatly through long and heated debate, that 'The really momentous change [around the s] was not the triumph of "Roman"over "Irish", but the formation of an indigenous ecclesiastical establishment which could stand on its own feet' p.
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But whether one chooses heads or tails-the Church at the centre of society or the society at the centre of the Church-it's good coin. This is perhaps to be expected, since Blair knows a lot about coins.
Notwithstanding some slightly defensive comments on pages concerning his occasional-but effective-comparisons with Mexican Christianity esp. Blair's argumentation looks west to Celtic-speaking contexts as much as it looks east to Frankish ones; he rereads Bede's letter to Ecgberht as a call for the reform of small, autonomous but still distinctively monastic establishments pp.
THE CHURCH IN ANGLO-SAXON SOCIETY
However, the book's most striking material concerns the economic roles of minsters, which in Blair's account receive a central role in English urbanisation esp. However this argument eventually fares, Chapter 5 'Monastic Towns?
Minsters and Central Places c. This approach to Christianity complemented Anglo-Saxon family-based society. By the s monasteries could be found throughout the country and the abbots and monks that maintained them performed a number of important social functions.
The monasteries had been centres of learning long before the Norman Conquest of We still have evidence of very skilled manuscripts produced by monks as far back as AD. As well as building and supporting a number of monasteries throughout England the Anglo-Saxon kings also built many churches although few of those remain because they were built mostly with wood. Westminster Abbey in London remains at the centre of Christianity in England today and although it has been extensively rebuilt throughout the centuries it was initially built by Edward the Confessor, the last of the Anglo-Saxon kings.
About the Book
The Danes had their own ancient religion that included human sacrifice and encouraged warfare. This frightened the people of England who saw themselves as more civilised and peaceful than the ' Vikings ', as these raiding Danes were known.
The Vikings had been targeting monasteries and churches since the s but by they had come to conquer. To purchase, visit your preferred ebook provider. Commemorating World War I.
Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England
The Church in Anglo-Saxon Society John Blair Of fundamental importance in our understanding of Anglo-Saxon society Makes the latest archaeological and historical research accessible to a wide readership Offers major new insights into life in the Anglo-Saxon world. His synthesis and assessment of the most recent archaeological research conveys all the excitement of this fast unfolding field" - John Nightingale, Magdalen College, Oxford "This book is a major breakthrough in our understanding of English religious history. Also of Interest. Ceremony and Civility Barbara A.
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