The West (1): Italy, Gaul, and Spain

Mark Humphries

in The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199271566
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

The West (1): Italy, Gaul, and Spain

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For centuries, the historiographical model of Gregory of Tours has dominated efforts to trace the history of Christianity in western Europe. However, even where archaeological evidence was admitted, it tended to be considered within a theological framework. These days, the approach to the evidence is altogether more sophisticated: all forms of evidence are considered as much as possible in the context of the societies in which they were produced. This article capitalizes on these new approaches and challenges traditional accounts of the development of Christianity in western Europe that emphasize ecclesiastical structures for their own sake. It aims to locate the history of early western Christianity – and not just the Church – in the social contexts in which it evolved and to illuminate its development by appealing to the widest range of sources possible.

Keywords: Gregory of Tours; Christianity; ecclesiastical structures; western Christianity; western Europe

Article.  8670 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Christianity ; Religion in the Ancient World

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