Bishop Æthelwold, his Followers, and Saints’ Cults in Early Medieval England
Title Details

256 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

9 b/w, 1 colour (plate 3). Illustrations

Series: Anglo-Saxon Studies

Imprint: Boydell Press

Bishop Æthelwold, his Followers, and Saints' Cults in Early Medieval England

Power, Belief, and Religious Reform

by Alison Hudson

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
An exploration of how Æthelwold and those he influenced deployed the promotion of saints to implement religious reform.
Bishop Æthelwold of Winchester and his associates were some of the most radical monastic reformers in tenth-century Europe. In two generations, they took over most of the powerful churches in the kingdom of England and implemented a number of the policies found in their ambitious monastic manifestos. They also had a major impact on the early development of the kingdom itself, taking a role in the establishment of a shire system that lasted a thousand years, negotiations with invaders, and attempts to create a standardized English language.
Æthelwold and his circle were also enthusiastic venerators of saints. This book examines a range of sources, from hagiographies to charters, from liturgy to archaeological remains, to argue that saints' cults helped these men and women secure their power, wealth, and relationships with groups outside their monasteries. The saints that Æthelwold's circle promoted most lavishly were not necessarily the ones that they studied or the ones that matched their ideological agenda. Rather, Æthelwold's monks and nuns connected themselves to a wide range of saints, including the Virgin Mary, St Swithun, Æthelthryth of Ely, Iudoc, Grimbald, Botulf, Cuthbert, and many others. Venerating these saints helped Æthelwold and his followers appeal to other groups in society, including unreformed ecclesiastics, lay nobles, and the workers on their estates. This book therefore not only has implications for the study of early English history and literature, but also for the history of western European monasticism and saints' cults more generally.
Introduction
1. Intellectual Priorities, Individuals, and Intra-Communal Veneration
2. Saints and Property
3. Saints and Unreformed Clerics
4. Saints and Nobles
5. Saints, the Laity, and Sacred Spaces
6. Saints and the Second Generation
Conclusion
Appendix 1: Saints and Property in Royal Grants, 900-1000
Appendix 2: Members of the Circle Appointed to High Ecclesiastical Offices, 956-1016
Bibliography
Index

Alison Hudson is an historian who works on tenth- and eleventh-century monks and manuscripts. She received her doctorate from Oxford University in 2014, and has since worked in Brussels, London, and Orlando.

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9781783276851

March 2022

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Title Details

256 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

9 b/w, 1 colour (plate 3). Illustrations

Series: Anglo-Saxon Studies

Imprint: Boydell Press