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The Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England

The Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England is more than a general account of the conversion of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. It is a probing study of the way in which Christianity was fashioned in England, giving full weight to the variety of wealth of the traditions that contributed to early Anglo-Saxon Christianity. It is also a study in the process of Christianization, as it was carried out by churchmen who, according to Mayr-Harting, prepared themselves by prayer and study and travel as well as by social awareness to Christianize their world. For this edition, the author has added a new preface in which he reconsiders some of his earlier conclusions and addresses recent developments in the scholarship. In a completely new chapter, Mayr-Harting appraises the work of Boniface of Devon, the greatest missionary of the early Middle Ages whom he calls the "Mirror of English History." Mayr-Harting thereby extends his account of early Anglo-Saxon Christianity from the Gregorian mission of the late sixth century up to the eighth-century English mission to the Continent, perhaps the crowning achievement of early English history.
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About the Author

Henry Mayr-Harting is Fellow and Tutor in History at St. Peter's College, Oxford. He is a contributor to the Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity (1990).


"It is great pleasure to welcome this revised third edition of Henry Mayr-Harting's classic work. The Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England has contributed decisively to our understanding of the early Anglo-Saxon era, and with its splendid new preface and its illuminating new chapter on St. Boniface, it is even more valuable than before." --C. Warren Hollister, University of California, Santa Barbara "The Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England is written in an elegant and expressive prose that can teach experts by attract students. It treats politics, religion, and culture in early Anglo-Saxon England more fully than any other book. Among its many virtues, however, first place must go to its ability to look at early England through eyes other than Bede's." --Thomas F.X. Noble, University of Virginia "It is not often that a book which, on its first appearance, was acclaimed as the finest distillation of up-to-date knowledge on the subject, should have maintained its value for almost two decades. It is a tribute to Mayr-Harting's remarkable insight into the period that this survey of the spread of Christianity in Dark Age Britain should remain a model account, relevant to the wider evolution of European religion and culture in the formative centuries of the Western Middle Ages. The new chapters and reflections make a masterpiece as fresh as it was on its first appearance. Here we have a sure and sympathetic guide into a turbulent yet surprisingly well-documented age." --Peter Brown, Princeton University

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