IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 505: Converting the Isles, I: Reconsidering Conversion

Tuesday 2 July 2013, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Leverhulme Trust Network 'Converting the Isles'
Organiser:Brittany Schorn, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic, University of Cambridge
Moderator/Chair:Erik Niblaeus, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences & Humanities, University of Cambridge
Paper 505-aBede, Boniface, and the 8th-Century Memory of the Gregorian Mission
(Language: English)
Roy Flechner, School of History, University College Dublin
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Historiography - Medieval
Paper 505-bConverting Kingship in Early Medieval Ireland: Re-Defining Practices, Ideologies, and Identities
(Language: English)
Patrick Gleeson, Department of Archaeology, University College Cork
Index terms: Archaeology - General, Pagan Religions
Paper 505-cPraesentem Israelem?: Conversion, Christianity, and the Britons in Late Antiquity
(Language: English)
Edwin Hustwit, School of History, Welsh History & Archaeology, Bangor University
Index terms: Archaeology - General, Language and Literature - Latin

This session will reconsider the process of conversion in the British Isles and Ireland. Roy Flechner will examine why Bede and Boniface, drawing on the same sources for the Augustinian mission, offer entirely different account of that mission, how they conducted ‘archival research’ and whether modern historians were right prefer Bede’s version. Patrick Gleeson will explore how conversion to Christianity in Ireland profoundly effected not only ideologies of kingship, but fundamentally, the nature of authority and may have facilitated early ecclesiastical establishments appropriating and re-imagining aspects of a monumental iconograpy rooted in prehistoric ceremonial. Edwin Hustwit will evaluate perceptions of the conversion of the Britons in textual sources such as Gildas’ De Excidio Britanniae and the Historia Brittonum in light of the archaeological evidence for Christian worship in late Roman Britain.