Christians and Pagans


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The Conversion of Britain from Alban to Bede

Malcolm Lambert

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Christians and Pagans offers a comprehensive and highly readable account of the coming of Christianity to Britain, its coexistence or conflict with paganism, and its impact on the lives of both indigenous islanders and invading Anglo-Saxons.

The Christianity of Roman Britain, so often treated in isolation, is here deftly integrated with the history of the British churches of the Celtic world, and with the histories of Ireland, Iona, and Pictland. Combining chronicle and literary evidence with the fruits of the latest archaeological research, Malcolm Lambert illuminates how the conversion process changed the hearts and minds of early Britain.

Malcolm Lambert has taught history and theology at the universities of Bristol and Reading and is the author of Franciscan Poverty, Medieval Heresy, and The Cathars.

"This book is a mine of information, and is…a most valuable guide to archaeological finds and literary sources for this period."—Benedicta Ward, Times Literary Supplement

"Lambert’s engaging and readable account weaves archaeological and art-historical evidence with the literary record, demonstrating how the process of conversion changed the hearts and minds of the inhabitants of early medieval Britain."—Sarah Foot, BBC History Magazine

"Well written and highly readable…a clear narrative of what actually happened to Christians and Christianity between the third and eighth centuries."—Alan Thacker, The Tablet

"Comprehensive, wide-ranging, consistently revealing, and enjoyable, this is a book that will give readers pleasure well beyond Christmas."—Paul Cavill, Church Times

“…both enjoyable and enlightening…”—Neil McLennan, Scottish Association of Teachers of History

“A major strength of Lambert’s work is the way in which he has interwoven two stories that are often treated separately – the Roman and the Celtic – and by bringing them together he is able to offer an unusually comprehensive account of the rise and spread of Christianity in Britain.”—John Drane, Baptist Times

“Lambert’s enjoyable new study… [is] an ambitious attempt to tell the story of Christianity from its earliest traces in Britain until the eight century…”—Diarmaid MacCulloch, London Review of Books

“A captivat­ing narrative . . . an important contribution . . . thoughtful, enjoyable, and valuable.”A. M. Juster, First Things

“Fascinating . . . Lambert’s account has numerous strengths [including] his treatment of the “lost church” . . . and insightful treatment of major figures.”—Alan Kreider, International Bulletin of Missionary Research

“The complex story of the Christianization of Britain . . . can be told well only by someone with Lambert’s erudition. [A] useful and fascinating work.”—Lawrence S. Cunningham, Commonweal

“Noted Medieval historian Malcolm Lambert has provided readers with a welcome addition to our understanding of Christianity in early Britain. Covering roughly a span of six centuries, Lambert judiciously incorporates sources such as Gildas and Bede alongside an impressive array of recent archaeological discoveries.”—R Stephen Bagby, Theological Book Review Vol.23 No.1

“Christians and Pagans illuminates a surprising amount of interesting and diverse material in a lively and engaging manner. A well-researched and valuable corrective to Bede, Lambert’s book is a welcome contribution to Church history, of interest to the general reader and specialist alike.”—Barnaby Hughes, Theology

ISBN: 9780300236576
Publication Date: December 12, 2017
336 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
40 b/w illus.