International Medieval Research 7

Christianizing Peoples and Converting IndividualsFront cover, IMR 7 - Click to enlarge
Edited by Guyda Armstrong and Ian N. Wood

The anniversary of Augustine's arrival in Kent in 597, and the subsequent christianization of England, made conversion an obvious theme for the 1997 International Medieval Congress. It was also a theme which attracted massive interest, and not just from early medievalists interested in the christianization of England and its near-contemporary parallels. This volume presents reworkings of 28 of these contributions.

The Early Middle Ages are represented in a number of papers concerned with Central and Eastern Europe and as far east as Georgia. Interest in the Baltic region took this aspect of the christianiaztion of Europe well into the fourteenth century. Papers on these regions constitute a good proportion of the present volume, and they provide a very useful point of entry into work currently being done on christianization in areas which are less well known to most historians than is Western Europe not least because of the range of languages involved.

With respect to later periods of the Middle Ages two issues predominated: one was the interface between Christians and Muslims in Spain and in the Holy Land and also between Christians and Jews once again in Spain, but also in England, and more generally in Western Europe. The other was the rather more theological question of the nature of conversion, as discussed by Aquinas, and in Franciscan writings. This wide-ranging volume concentrates on historical approaches to the topic. The different types of questions posed and materials used are a fascinating indication of the different interpretations to be found among specialists in different fields.

Christianization, as a process affecting complete peoples, or at least large groups, attracts attention, as does the conversion of the individual. By putting these varying approaches together, this collection indicates the range of current work on christianization and conversion history and the range itself, quite apart from the individual studies, is an eye-opener.

Articles in this volume include:

  • The Life of St Nino: Georgia's Conversion to its Female Apostle, by Eva M. Synek
  • Why Orthodoxy Did Not Spread among the Bulgars of the Crimea during the Early Medieval Era: An Early Byzantine Conversion Model, by Thomas S. Noonan
  • Some Historical Re-identifications and the Christianization of Kent, by Ian N. Wood
  • Converting Monks: Missionary Activity in Early Medieval Frisia and Saxony, by Wolfert van Egmond
  • Deliberate Ambiguity: The Lombards and Christianity, by Walter Pohl
  • New Perspectives on an Old Problem: Uppsala and the Christianization of Sweden, by Anne-Sofie Gräslund
  • Early Christian Burials in Sweden, by Bertil Nilsson
  • Adam of Bremen and the Conversion of Scandinavia, by Henrik Janson
  • Approaches to the Conversion of the Finns: Ideologies, Symbols, and Archaeological Features, by Derek Fewster
  • Signs of Conversion in Early Medieval Charters, by Zsolt Hunyadi
  • Signs of Conversion in Central European Laws, by János M. Bak
  • Signs of Conversion in Vitae sanctorum, by Anna Kuznetsova
  • Conversion in Chronicles: The Hungarian Case, by László Veszprémy
  • Mission to the Heathen in Prussia and Livonia: The Attitudes of the Religious Military Orders Towards Chrsitianization, by Marie-Luise Favreau Lilie
  • The Forced Baptism of Jews in Christian Europe:An Introductory Overview, by Benjamin Ravid
  • Living in Limbo: The Experience of Jewish Converts in Medieval England, by Reva Berman Brown & Sean McCartney
  • Marriage As a Means of Conversion in Pierre Dubois's De recuperatione Terre Sancte, by Michael R. Evans
  • Mission et frontière dans l'espace Méditerranéen: Tentatives d'une société guerrière pour la propagation de la foi, by Ludwig Vones
  • The Conversion Stories of Shaykh Abū Ishāk Kāzarūnī, by Neguin Yavari
  • To Baptize Khans or to Convert Peoples? Missionary Aims in Central Asia in the Fourteenth Century, by James D. Ryan
  • Cum hora undecima: The Incorporation of Asia into the orbis Christianus, by Felicitas Schmieder
  • St Thomas Aquinas's Theory of Conversion, by Patrick Quinn
  • Aquinas, the Intellect, and Divine Enlightenment, by Patrick Quinn
  • Conversio ad bonum commutabile: Augustinian Language of 'Conversion' in Medieval Theology, by Donald Mowbray
  • Converting the Other and Converting the Self: Double Objectives in Franciscan Educational Writings, by Bert Roest
  • Platonism and Plagiarism at the End of the Middle Ages, by Peter O'Brien
  • The 'Conversion' of King John and its Consequences for Worcester Cathedral, by Ute Engel
  • Conversion As Depicted on the Fourteenth-Century Tring Tiles, by Mary Casey