In the wake of Boniface. Monasteries and religious transformation,:c. 750 - c. 900
06 / 2005 - 05 / 2008
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)
This project questions current assumptions about early medievalChristianization and the Carolingian Renaissance by studying thenetwork of the Anglo-Saxon missionary Boniface (754) and his pupils.My central thesis is that monastic communities played a key role inChristianization not merely in England, but also on the Continent. Iargue that the dynamics of religious transformation can best beobserved through monastic hagiography. While scholars have oftentreated Christianization and the cult of saints separately, the basicassumption of this project is that they are in fact intimatelyrelated. Most often I will use hagiographical materials, but many types ofsources teach us about the involvement of monasteries in theChristianization on a local level. Charters, liturgical sources andarchaeological reports concerning architecture and interiors ofchurch buildings will therefore also be examined.Geographically, my focus will be the area formed by the 'triangle'Fulda, Mainz and Utrecht, the three centres of Boniface'scommemoration. This area promises a rich field for studying theinvolvement of monastic communities in Christianization. It was herethat Anglo-Saxon influence had an impact, alongside older and'Romanized' ecclesiastical structures already in existence.