WHY MONKS MATTER

I have recently been posting about the end of the church in Roman Britain, mainly as a case study in how churches die. Just to recap, the old church disintegrated after 450 or so, at least in the south and east of the island – that is, southern and Eastern England – but it survived [Read More...]

BRITAIN, AFRICA, AND THE END OF ANCIENT CHRISTIANITY

I have recently been discussing the destruction of the church that flourished in Roman Britain up through the fifth century. Historians differ greatly on how far they think the fifth and sixth centuries marked a major change of population in the country, or at least the south and east of the island – what became [Read More...]

DO LANGUAGES (AND FAITHS) VANISH WITHOUT TRACE?

I’m wrestling with a truly baffling linguistic mystery, with some far-reaching implications for Christian history. In a couple of recent posts, I looked at the fate of the British Christian society that appears to have been overwhelmed by pagan Germanic invaders during the fifth and sixth centuries. According to traditional accounts, invaders killed or enslaved [Read More...]

THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN

Gold_plaque

I recently posted about the annihilation of the church in Roman Britain. Writing the history of that church is largely a story of reporting negatives – not something that historians like to do, but sometimes we have no choice. (Let me stress again that I’m talking about the wealthier south and east of the island, [Read More...]

WHEN CHURCHES VANISH

So much of Christian history is about the planting and rise of communities, a saga of creators and builders. On occasion, though, churches are destroyed, to the point that Christianity is eliminated entirely in particular regions. Alternatively, it is reduced to a miserable handful of clandestine believers faced with the daily danger of persecution and [Read More...]


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