Leaders of the Anglo-Saxon Church

Leaders of the Anglo-Saxon Church

From Bede to Stigand

Edited by Alexander R. Rumble


Boydell Press



Essays bring out the important and complex roles played by Anglo-Saxon churchmen, including Bede and lesser-known figures.
Both episcopal and abbatial authority were of fundamental importance to the development of the Christian church in Anglo-Saxon England. Bishops and heads of monastic houses were invested with a variety of types of power and influence. Their actions, decisions, and writings could change not only their own institutions, but also the national church, while their interaction with the king and his court affected wider contemporary society. Theories of ecclesiastical leadership were expounded in contemporary texts and documents. But how far did image or ideal reflect reality? How much room was there for individuals to use their office to promote new ideas?
The papers in this volume illustrate the important roles played by individual leading ecclesiastics in England, both within the church and in the wider political sphere, from the late seventh to the mid eleventh century. The undeniable authority of Bede and Bishop Æthelwold is demonstrated but also the influence of less-familiar figures such as Bishop Wulfsige of Sherborne, Archbishop Ecgberht of York and St Leoba. The book draws on both textual and material evidence to show the influence (by both deed and reputation) of powerful personalities not only on the developing institutions of the English church but also on the secular politics of their time.

Contributors: Alexander R. Rumble, Nicholas J. Higham, Martyn J. Ryan, Cassandra Rhodes, Allan Scott McKinley, Dominik Wassenhoven, Gale R. Owen-Crocker, Debby Banham, Joyce Hill.


April 2012
8 black and white, 2 line illustrations
216 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Pubns Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies
ISBN: 9781843837008
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS037010, REL108020, REL086000
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Church Leadership and the Anglo-Saxons - Alexander R. Rumble
Bede and the Early English Church - Nicholas Higham
Archbishop Ecgberht and his Dialogus - Martin Ryan
Abbatial Responsibility as Spiritual Labour: Suckling from the Male Breast - Cassandra Rhodes
Understanding the Earliest Bishops of Worcester c. 660-860 - Allan Scott McKinley
The Role of Bishops in Anglo-Saxon Succession Struggles, 955 x 978 - Dominik Wassenhoven
Image-Making: Portraits of Anglo-Saxon Church Leaders - Gale R. Owen-Crocker
'To Keep Silence Following the Rule's Command': Bishop Æthelwold, Reforming Ideology and Communication by Signs - Debby Banham
Wulfsige of Sherborne's Reforming Text - Joyce Hill
From Winchester to Canterbury: Ælfheah and Stigand - Bishops, Archbishops and Victims - Alexander R. Rumble


Offer(s) much of value to students of the Anglo-Saxon church. EARLY MEDIEVAL EUROPE

Filled with historical context and insight, particularly for those who work on the religious prose of Anglo-Saxon England. YEARS WORK IN ENGLISH STUDIES

Underlines the significance of the ecclesiastical elite in Anglo-Saxon England. NORTHERN HISTORY, L, no. 2, September 2013

A valuable collection of essays on a range of important subjects. JOURNAL OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY

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