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The Church in Anglo-Saxon Society [Hardcover]

John Blair
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 79.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

20 Jan 2005
From the impact of the first monasteries in the seventh century, to the emergence of the local parochial system five hundred years later, the Church was a force for change in Anglo-Saxon society. It shaped culture and ideas, social and economic behaviour, and the organization of landscape and settlement. This book traces how the widespread foundation of monastic sites ('minsters') during c.670-730 gave the recently pagan English new ways of living, of exploiting their resources, and of absorbing European culture, as well as opening new spiritual and intellectual horizons. Through the era of Viking wars, and the tenth-century reconstruction of political and economic life, the minsters gradually lost their wealth, their independence, and their role as sites of high culture, but grew in stature as foci of local society and eventually towns. After 950, with the increasing prominence of manors, manor-houses, and village communities, a new and much larger category of small churches were founded, endowed, and rebuilt: the parish churches of the emergent eleventh- and twelfth-century local parochial system. In this innovative study, John Blair brings together written, topographical, and archaeological evidence to build a multi-dimensional picture of what local churches and local communities meant to each other in early England.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 624 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 1st Edition edition (20 Jan 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198226950
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198226956
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.6 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 120,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


...a classic, frequently used and cited by students and scholars alike. (Early Medieval Europe)

This major book is likely to be the standard work on this subject for years to come...Encyclopaedic, fluently written and well illustrated, this book is a must. (Jeremy Knight Archaeology in Wales)

...an impressive study of the English church before the Norman Conquest which sheds much new light on its structures and place in society (Contemporary Review)

a powerful and compelling synthesis...Blair's skilful integration of archaeological and historical evidence is second to none. 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. (Contemporary Review)

A comprehensive study...John Blair's eloquent presentation of the evidence will doubtless hold the field for a generation, and is likely to define debate for even longer. (Richard Gameson, TLS)

...it is a testament to Blair's skills as a writer and researcher that this book will be the first port of call for many years to come. (Martin Ryan, Landscape History, Vol. 28)

About the Author

John Blair has been a Fellow and Praelector in History at The Queen's College, Oxford, since 1981. His academic interests center on the history, archaeology, and landscape of medieval England, notably churches, settlements, and material culture. He is active in numerous organizations concerned with conservation, archaeology, and research.

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Church in Anglo Saxon Society 28 Dec 2009
I have been studying Anglo-Saxon landscapes and this book was on the recommended list. I am not an academic but I have an active interest in Anglo-Saxon history and John Blair's book gave me an insight into the role of the church that was crucial for my studies. I am sure that I will return to it time and time again.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Defenitive Book 1 Jun 2007
By Olaf Lutherson - Published on Amazon.com
This book is by far the most exhaustive text on the subject. It is wonderful in that respect. It is a difficult read and not for a casual entertainment in my opinion. Think more of a in depth study or someone seeking a deep understanding of the subject.

I intend to use this as one of my foremost references for AS Church research for quite some time to come.
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