Monastic Life in Anglo-Saxon England, c.600-900 (Paperback)
  • Monastic Life in Anglo-Saxon England, c.600-900 (Paperback)
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Monastic Life in Anglo-Saxon England, c.600-900 (Paperback)

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£36.99
Paperback 416 Pages / Published: 05/03/2009
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This major 2006 history of monasticism in early Anglo-Saxon England explores the history of the Church between the conversion to Christianity in the sixth century and a monastic revival in the tenth. It represents the first comprehensive revision of accepted views about monastic life in England before the Benedictine reform. Sarah Foot shows how early Anglo-Saxon religious houses were simultaneously active and contemplative, their members withdrawing from the preoccupations of contemporary aristocratic society, while still remaining part of that world. Focusing on the institution of the 'minster' (the communal religious community) and rejecting a simplistic binary division between active 'minsters' and enclosed 'monasteries', Foot argues that historians have been wrong to see minsters in the light of ideals of Benedictine monasticism. Instead, she demonstrates that Anglo-Saxon minsters reflected more of contemporary social attitudes; despite their aim for solitude, they retained close links to aristocratic German society.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521739085
Number of pages: 416
Weight: 750 g
Dimensions: 244 x 188 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'A beautifully structured and magisterial treatment of a major subject in early medieval English history by the outstanding early medieval historian of her generation.' Professor Nicholas Brooks, University of Birmingham
'Lucidly written, attractively illustrated, magisterially argued, and beautifully produced, this book shows not only what early Anglo-Saxon ministers did, but also gives persuasive answers to the question: why did people adopt this particular form of religious life?' Church Times
'Required reading for anyone interested in Anglo-Saxon religious life before the tenth-century Benedictine reforms ... a handsome volume.' The American Historical Review
'A truly outstanding book, which will undoubtedly become a standard text on the subject.' History
'I wish this book had been published 50 years ago, when I was about to embark on my postgraduate career. ... Now, Foot's study of the early Church, with its rethinking of what monasterium means and its putting of the reform movement (and its 'ideological literature') into perspective, gives us a freer hand to evaluate the church buildings on their archaeological merits without constantly looking over our shoulders at Dunstan and Co.' Journal of Medieval Archaeology
'Well written, clearly organised and carefully researched, this volume offers much to anyone interested in the spread, nature and role of early medieval monasticism in England and beyond, and in the character of society in general in this complex period.' The Journal and Report of the Medieval Settlement Research Group
'After setting out her aims and approaches with clarity, Foot begins by looking at 'the ideal minister' as imagined in sources from the period ... The book makes a strong argument for diversity and variety in the monastic life of earlier Anglo-Saxon England and offers an authoritative yet accessible survey of this complex subject.' Medium Aevum
"In this new book, Foot synthesizes for the first time what is known and unknown about ministers between the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons in the seventeenth century and the first wave of Viking invasions of England[...]Her book will be required reading for anyone interested in Anglo-Saxon religious life before the tenth-century Benedictine reforms.[...]Cambridge University Press deserves thanks for producing a handsome volume with a readable type face, good illustrations, and informative maps." -Joseph H. Lynch, Ohio State University, American Historical Review
"Sarah Foot's comprehensive survey of Anglo-Saxon monastic institutions is bound to become the standard survey of the subject for years to come...Foot demonstrates her skills as a medievalist...[her] work is lucid and vivid...It has a place on every medievalist's shelf." -Benjamin Lee, Comitatus
"The strengths of the volume are the author's attention to nuance in the sources and her awareness of historiographical and theoretical tools...Foot's book is essential reading for scholars of Anglo-Saxon England, medieval religious life, and Western church history." --Religious Studies Review

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