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Liturgy, Architecture, and Sacred Places in Anglo-Saxon England


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Table of Contents

1: Introduction 2: Creating sacred places in the landscape 3: Anglo-Saxon church groups 4: Going between God's houses: open-air processions in Anglo-Saxon 5: Anglo-Saxon churches: form and function 6: Rites for dedicating churches in Anglo-Saxon England 7: Machines for thinking: a case study Conclusion Appendix References Index

About the Author

Helen Gittos is an historian who specializes in the social and cultural history of the early Middle Ages. She studied English Literature at Newcastle University before starting her postgraduate research in Anglo-Saxon history at Oxford University. Having held temporary teaching jobs at the universities of Cardiff, Southampton, Leeds, and Aberystwyth, she is now Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Kent. She is currently working on a study of the use of vernacular languages in the liturgy throughout the medieval period.


a deeply thoughtful and important volume that brings together divergent and disparate sources, and combines them into a persuasive and well-argued whole it is certainly a masterful introduction to the subject, adding an important new perspective to the Anglo-Saxon sacred place. It is of great value to historians and archaeologists alike. * Ian Riddler, The Archaeological Journal *
excellent and timely ... a learned book, with gratifyingly wide references ... beautifully written by someone with a gift for communication. This is a book we have needed for years. * David Stocker, Landscape History *
a serious attempt to establish an understandinig of how sacred places were used and experienced ... a welcome addition to our understanding of many aspects of the relationship between buildings and the celebration of the worship of God. * Graham Duncan, Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae *
a wide-ranging work of considerable erudition, examining the architectural context of a variety of religious rites: consecration of churches and cemeteries; processions; relics and shrines. * Northern History *
this exciting research sheds new light on the Anglo-Saxon Church and offers a new way of understanding church buildings and liturgy more generally. * Revd Dr William Whyte, Church Times *
Gittos's success in achieving her primary aim of explaining how Anglo-Saxon churches were used and experienced. She has produced an authoritative and convincing exploration of the liturgical uses of Anglo-Saxon architecture, and of the architectural awareness of early medieval liturgists. Future studies of the other, less concrete, aspects of worship and belief in pre-Conquest England will be indebted to this book for so fully reconstructing the physical setting that framed and shaped them. * Richard Sowerby, Early Medieval Europe *
Gittos raises important questions about religious practices and the evidence for them * Helen Foxhall Forbes, Current Archaeology *
Taken as a whole, the book is successful in showing how different kinds of evidence can be brought together in a mutually illuminating way. Those with serious interest in the Anglo-Saxon Church and in Anglo-Saxon churches should find much of interest in both the method and the content. * P.S. Barnwell, Ecclesiology Today *
a substantial contribution to Anglo-Saxon and liturgical studies... a doorway to further study in this fascinating field. * David Thomson, Anaphora *
a very solid piece of scholarship, likely to be of lasting value. Anyone with an interest in sacred places in Anglo-Saxon England will find something useful in this book; indeed, it will doubtless be a key jumping-off point for new research on the subject for many years to come. * T.B. Lambert, The English Historical Review *
This is an excellent book. * Paul Everson, Archa Verbi *

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