NINIAN AND FINNIAN

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I’ve written a good deal about the centuries following the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, the era that in parts of Europe we commonly call a Dark Age. This was a remarkable time for Christian survival and growth in some areas – and of the destruction of the faith in others. This [Read More...]

ENOCH ABIDES

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Although the Book of Enoch was highly regarded in the early Christian church, it fell out of favor by the fourth century. From the ninth century, it virtually disappeared from European churches at least, and the text would be lost for a millennium. But the work proved surprisingly durable. Centuries after it was denounced by [Read More...]

EASTER STORIES

Felices Pascuas, Joyeuses Pâques, Buona Pasqua, Glad Påsk… Around the world, Christians use very similar words to wish each other a happy Easter, and with a couple of glaring exceptions, they call the feast by a variant of pascha, Passover. Even Tagalog uses pasko. The odd-tongues-out are of course English itself, and its close ally [Read More...]

THE ANCIENT INHERITANCE

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I recently suggested that studying the history of the so-called  “Dark Ages” gives a wonderful background for understanding contemporary Christianity worldwide. Nowhere is that more true, oddly, than in the central theme of globalization itself. When you explore the world of Late Antiquity, roughly from the fourth century through the ninth, you see a Christian [Read More...]

THE DARK AGES

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As a Cambridge undergraduate in the 1970s, my emphasis (major) was in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, a peculiar product of that university. Essentially, ASNC was about the Dark Ages in the British Isles and Scandinavia from roughly 400 through 1100AD, studied from a broad interdisciplinary perspective, drawing on history, literature, languages, art history and archaeology. [Read More...]


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