Cover image for The Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England: Third Edition By Henry Mayr-Harting

The Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England

Third Edition

Henry Mayr-Harting

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$30.95 | Paperback Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-00769-4

344 pages
5.5" × 8.5"
1991

The Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England

Third Edition

Henry Mayr-Harting

“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.”

 

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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.

“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.”
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.”
“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.”

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).

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