Sketches of Church History from 600 to 1300 AD by G.S.M. Walker

G.S.M. Walker, The Growing Storm. Sketches of Church History from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1350That the so-called “Dark Ages” contained a surprising amount of light soon becomes clear from the pages of this second volume in the Paternoster Church History. Even the Medieval Papacy, whose rise and fall is, broadley speaking, covered by the period of this book, and which became a laughing-stock and was treated as a scandal, had at the outset sought to embody a great principle – the principle that the spiritual is superior to the temporal, that morality is superior to politics, that Christ is superior to the kingdoms of mankind. It was for the same principle that in later times Scottish Covenanters were to contend and suffer, so demonstrating a historical unity of problems in widely differing periods and circumstances.

Indeed, this book cealr underlines this historical unity by showing that even in the Middle Ages men grappled with problems not unlike our own; but the roles were so surprisingly reversed that it is often hard for the modern mind to see clearly which was the angels’ side. The instance, monks were busy preaching puritan sermons, scholars were almost all fundamentalists, early “Protestants” were devoted to the Virgin, and there was actually a sort of evangelical revival which won warmer sympathy from the reigning Pontiff than would have been shewn by an English Bishop of John Wesley’s day.

This complex period Dr. Walker graphically illustrates by telling the story of some characteristic lives, with sufficient background to make the narrative cohetrent, in spite of the seven-and-a half centuries that are covered. Gregory, Boniface, and Hildebrand, Anselm, Abelard and Bernard, Francis, Aquinas, Raymond Lull, Dante and others, all make their contribution to a composite picture in which the various convictions, catholic and evangelical and liberal, are well and widely represented, sometimes even fermenting together in the same brain. Then we see the tension mounting and the storm-clouds gathering, as distinct parties draw apart in a struggle that would intensify with the coming of Wycliffe, and would come to its climax in the Reformation.

From the dustjacket

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G.S.M. Walker, The Growing Storm. Sketches of Church History from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1350. London: The Paternoster Press, 1961. Hbk. pp.252. [Click to visit the download page]

Contents

  • Preface
  1. Gregory the Great
  2. Boniface an the Conversion of Northern Europe
  3. Alcuin and the Carolingian Renaissance
  4. The East from Leo the Isaurian to Michael Cerularius
  5. The Hildebrandine Reform
  6. The First Crusade
  7. Anselm and the Rise of Scholasticism
  8. Abelard and Bernard of Clairvaux
  9. The Waldensians
  10. The Pontificate of Innocent III
  11. Francis and his Followers
  12. The Dominicans; Aquinas; and the German Mystics
  13. The Last Crusader
  14. The Missionary Zeal of Raymond Lull
  15. Dante and the Dawn of a New Age
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Early English Church History

The following public domain book is now available on-line in PDF:

William Bright [1824-1901], Chapters of Early English Church History, 2nd Edition. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1888. Hbk. pp.476. 

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Early English Church History

Contents

Chapter I (Introductory)

The beginning of British Christianity unknown; No proof of an Apostolic visit; Story of Lucius; Tertullia.n on British Christians; First Mission probably from Gaul; St. Alban; British Bishops at Council of Arles; Few traces of British Church; Its orthodoxy; St. Ninian; Pelagianism in Britain; Britons appeal to Gallic Church; Mission of German and Lupus; Discussion with Pelagians; German and Lupus at Verulam; The Allelnia Victory; Second visit of St. German; The Saxon Conquest; Sufferings of Britons; Condition of British Nation and Church; ‘Increpations’ of Gildas; British Church Ritual; British Colleges and Synods; Missionaries and Saints; Dubricius and David; Flight of British Bishops; What opening for a Mission!

Chapter II

Gregory the Great; The Church and Slavery; Gregory and the English boys; Gregory becomes Pope; His plans for an English Mission; Ethelbert and Bertha; Augustine and his companions; Misgivings silenced by Gregory; His commendatory letters; The Missionaries in Gaul; They land in Kent; Augustine before Ethelbert; Ethelbert’s reply; Augustine enters Canterbury; Life of Missionaries in Canterbury; Baptism of Ethelbert; Death of St. Columba; Consecration of Augustine; Foundation of Canterbury Cathedral; Messengers sent to Gregory; Gregory’s answers to Augustine’s questions; His view of the Popedom; Question of Miracles; Scheme for Bishoprics; Letters to Ethelbert and Bertha; Treatment of Pagan Temples; Arrival of Mellitus and his companions.

Chapter Ill

First Conference with British Bishops; Question of Easter; Questions of Baptismal Rites and Tonsure; Second Conference; Advice of the Hermit; Augustine’s terms rejected; His prediction; Battle of Chester; Bishopric of London; Bishopric of Rochester; ‘Church and Realm’ in Kent; Liturgical arrangements; Monastery of SS. Peter and Paul; Date of Augustine’s death; Consecration of Laurence; Archbishopric fixed at Canterbury; Character of St. Augustine; Overtures to the Irish Church fail; St. Columban; His Celtic tenacity; Renewed overtures to Britons fail; Dedication of SS. Peter and Paul’s; Eadbald rejects the Faith; Mellitus expelled from London; Story of Laurence’s dream; Conversion of Eadbald; Redwald’s compromise; Edwin in exile; His mysterious visitant; Edwin, King of all Northumbria; Mellitus, Archbishop; Disappointment of early hopes for the Mission; Paulinus sent to Northumbria.

Chapter IV

Paulinus at York; Attempt on Edwin’s life; Indecision of Edwin; Paulinus prevails with him; Northumbrian Witenagemot; Christianity adopted;Political greatness of Edwin; Bishopric of York; Mission-journeys of St. Paulinus; Estimate of his work;
Honorius, Archbishop; Christianity in East-Anglia; Sigebert and St. Felix; St. Fursey; Cadwallon and Penda; Edwin slain at Hatfield; The ‘ Hateful Year’; Flight of Paulinus; James the Deacon; Battle of Heavenfield; Oswald, King of Northumbria; He sends to Hy for a Bishop; Aidan chosen Bishop; Question as to his consecration; Aidan arrives in Northumbria; He settles at Lindisfarne; His position as independent of Rome

Chapter V

Character of St. Aidan; His work as Bishop; His relations with Oswald; His charity and boldness; His ‘error’ as to Easter; Church-work under him; Mission of St. Birinus; He preaches in Wessex; Baptism of Kynegils; Birinus, Bishop of Dorchester; Erconbert, King of Kent; The Family of King Anna; Battle of Maserfield; Death of St. 0swald; Reverence for his sanctity; Anxiety caused by his death; Oswy, King of Bernicia; Exile and conversion of Kenwalch; He regains his crown; Church of Winchester founded; Learning in Ireland; Agilbert in Wessex; Oswin, King of Deira; His murder; Honours to his memory; Nunneries in Northumbria; Death of Aidan.

Chapter VI

Preparations for organisation of English Church; Finan, Bishop of Lindisfarne; Paschal Question revived; Baptism of Peada; Mission to Mid-Angles; Baptism of Sigebert the Good; Cedd, Bishop of the East-Saxons; Foundation of Lastingham; Deusdedit, Archbishop; Death of Anna; Penda invades Northumbria; Battle of Winwidfield; Mercian Bishopric founded; Murder of Sigebert the Good; St. Botulf; Wulfhere, King of Mercia; Monastery of Peterborough; Wini, Bishop of Winchester; South-Saxons still Heathen; Colman, Bishop of Lindisfarne; Mona.sticism in Northumbria; Cuthbert at Melrose; Beginnings of Wilfrid; Wilfrid at Lindisfarne and at Lyons; His first visit to Rome; He returns to Northumbria; His aims for his native Church; Paschal Question brought to an issue; Conference of Whitby; Colman leaves Lindisfarne; Review of the Scotic Mission

Chapter VII

Tuda, Bishop of Lindisfarne; The ‘ Yellow Pest’; Apostasy of East-Saxons; Cuthbert, Prior of Melrose; Wilfrid elected to York; Consecration of Wilfrid in Gaul; His return from Gaul; Consecration of Chad; Third Mission to East-Saxons; Simony of Wini; Wilfrid in Mercia and Kent; Election and death of Wighard; Pope Vitalian’s letter; Theodore chosen for Canterbury; Monothelite Controversy; Consecration of Theodore; Theodore in Gaul; His arrival at Canterbury; His character; His reception in England.

Chapter VIII

Theodore and St. Chad; Question of Chad’s Consecration; His episcopate at Lichfield; His piety; His death; Egfrid, King of Northurnbria; Wilfrid’s church-building; Grandeur of his position; School at Canterbury; Monasticism in Kent; Lothere, Bishop of Winchester; Council of Hertford

Chapter IX

East-Anglian diocese divided; Queen Etheldred; Foundation of Ely; Disorders at Coldingham followed by ruin; Deposition of Winfrid; Erkenwald, Bishop of London; Aldhelm, Abbot of Malmesbury; Heddi, Bishop of Winchester; Design for a Monastery at Abingdon; Mercian Invasion of Kent; Putta at Hereford; Cuthbert, Prior of Lindisfarne; He retires to Farne; His Hermit-life; Foundation of Wearmouth; Ceolfrid; Hilda at Whitby; Credmon.

Chapter X

Beginning of Wilfrid’s troubles; Theodore and Egfrid; Division of Northumbrian diocese; Wilfrid’s appeal to Rome; Views of Roman See taken by Wilfrid, and by English Church in general; Seizure of Bishop Winfrid; Wilfrid in Frisia and Lombardy; Council of Rome; Return of Wilfrid; Roman decree rejected by Egfrid; Imprisonment of Wilfrid; His release; His stay in Mercia; He withdraws into Sussex; State of the South-Saxons; Wilfrid converts them; His Episcopate at Selsey.

Chaper XI

Mercian diocese divided; Saxon Monastery at Glastonbury; Mission of John the Precentor; Council of Hatfield; Question of Double Procession; Death of John the Precentor; Death of St. Hilda; Bishopric at Abercorn; Foundation of Jarrow; Bede; Invasion of Ireland; Assembly at Twyford; Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne; Egfrid attacks the Picts; Cuthbert at Carlisle; Battle of Dunnechtan; See of Abercorn abandoned; Aldfrid, King of Northumbria; St. Cuthbert’s Episcopate; His Visitations; He returns to Farne; Cuthbert’s last days; His death; Death of Easterwine; Benedict’s last return from Rome; Cad walla and Wilfrid; Cadwalla, King of Wessex; Conquest of the Isle of Wight; Conversion of its people; Theodore reconciled to Wilfrid; Wilfrid restored to York; The first compromise; John, Bishop of Hexham; Eadbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne; Death of Benedict Biscop; Cadwalla. goes to Rome; Baptism and death of Cadwalla; Ine, King of West-Saxons; Death of Theodore.

Chapter XII

State of Church and Kingdoms at Theodore’s death; Laws of King Ine; Renewal of Wilfrid’s troubles; Questions for Wilfrid; Wilfrid in Mercia; Missions to Frisia; St. Willibrord; Swidbert, Missionary Bishop; Martyrdom of the Hewalds; Willibrord’s Episcopate; Bertwald, Archbishop of Canterbury; Death of St. Erkenwald; Death of King Sebbi; Egwin, Bishop of Worcester; Laws of King Wihtred; The ‘Privilege’ of Wihtred; Guthlac at Crowland; Foundation of Evesham.

Chapter XIII

Death of Bishop Eadbert; Letter of Pope Sergius; Council of Easterfield; Wilfrid’s second Appeal; Wilfrid again in Mercia; St. Aldhelm; He writes to encourage ‘ Wilfrid’s clerks’; Acca; Wilfrid’s last journey to Rome; Pope John VI; Council of Rome; Decision of the Council; Letter of Pope John; Wilfrid at Meaux; Wilfrid welcomed by Ethelred; Aldfrid refuses to receive him; Death of Aldfrid; Council of the Nidd; Final compromise in the ’cause of Wilfrid’

Chapter XIV

Aldhelm’s letter to Geraint on British Easter and Tonsure; Gradual surrender of Celtic Easter; Daniel, Bishop of Winchester; Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherborne; Church-work in Wessex; Death of Aldhelm; Complaint against Bede; Wilfrid’s last arrangements; His journey into Mercia; His death; Retrospect.

Chapter XIV

Aldhelm’s letter to Geraint on British Easter and Tonsure; Gradual surrender of Celtic Easter; Daniel, Bishop of Winchester; Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherborne; Church-work in Wessex; Death of Aldhelm; Complaint against Bede; Wilfrid’s last arrangements; His journey into Mercia; His death;
Retrospect.

Additional Notes

A. Christian adoption of Pagan sites
B. Bede and Gregory of Tours
C. Theodore and Chad
D. The Council of Hertford
E. The Age of St. Aldhelm
F. Growth of a Parochial System
G. Miscellaneous

Table of Principal Events
Table of Royal and Episcopal Succession, A.D. 597-709
Genealogical Tables
Index