Anglo-Saxon Church

Related Overviews



St Aidan (d. 651) Irish missionary

Theodore of Tarsus (c. 602—690) archbishop of Canterbury and biblical scholar

See all related overviews in Oxford Index » »


More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)
  • Christianity


Quick Reference

The Church in England from the end of the 6th cent. to the Norman Conquest (1066). In 597 the Roman mission of St Augustine landed in Thanet in the south and sees were quickly set up at Canterbury, London, Rochester, and York. In the north, St Aidan established himself at Lindisfarne c.635. For a time the work of the missions was hindered by disputes over differences in such customs as the date of observing Easter, but after the Synod of Whitby (664), union between the north and the south was gradually achieved. In 669 Theodore of Tarsus arrived as Abp. of Canterbury and began his great work of reform and organization. The Danish invasions were a blow to the Church, although the victory of Alfred secured the nominal acceptance of Christianity by the invaders. In the 10th cent. reforms were initiated by St Dunstan and St Ethelwold, and closer contact with the Continent was established. In the Anglo-Saxon Church monasticism was strong, and most of the evangelization was done by monks. There were also particularly close links between the Church and State. The conversion of a district usually began in the royal palace; bishoprics were conterminous with tribal areas, and it is often difficult to decide whether a particular assembly was primarily ecclesiastical or secular.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) — Christianity.

Reference entries