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Anglo-Saxon Christianity

by Paul Cavill

Buy the book: Paul Cavill. Anglo-Saxon Christianity

Release Date: 07 June, 1999

Edition: Paperback

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Buy the book: Paul Cavill. Anglo-Saxon Christianity


Best Recent Book On This Subject As Far As I Know

This must be the best book on Anglo-Saxon Christianity at this time. Though I have no shortage of books about Anglo-Saxons, and Anglo-Saxon poets, this is especially placed in my collection. It is the logical extension of the growing interest in Celtic Christianity that Anglo-saxon Christianity should be popularly explored as well. Ironically, the books on Celtic Christianity, are not as well arranged as this, in its well-written commentary and selection of works explored. The chapters on Caedmon, and on the Synod of Whitby (certainly an important historical event in Christian history which is too often glossed over in classes, if discussed at all) were the strongest parts of the book. Though he relies heavily on Bede at times, he gives commentary on Bede as he does so, putting things into context for those new to this field. His chapter on Beowulf, would certainly be a good introduction to that fine classic of earliest "English" literature, for those who enjoyed Chrichton's appropriation of the story for his Eaters Of The Dead / 13th Warrior. Highlights of course, are the poems, Caedmon's Hymn and The Dream Of The Rood, included with insightful commentary. Also included are a few scenes from Beowulf, and less glorious, yet revealing, documents of the time. If there was one criticism I had of the book, it would be that there was next to nothing on the Anglo-Saxon version of the Apocryphal book, The Acts of Saint Andrew, aka Andreas. A personal favourite of mine, which I am sure Cavill could get a whole book out of. I suspect very much however, that Cavill is not done with this topic, and must leave something for the next book. And there should be a "next book" from Cavill: it is rare to see such scholarly stuff written so well, and so very approachable to the non-expert. A high five.

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