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Pastoral Care in Late Anglo-Saxon England

Pastoral Care in Late Anglo-Saxon England

Edited by Francesca Tinti
Volume: 6
Copyright Date: 2005
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 160
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  • Book Info
    Pastoral Care in Late Anglo-Saxon England
    Book Description:

    The tenth and eleventh centuries saw a number of very significant developments in the history of the English Church, perhaps the most important being the proliferation of local churches, which were to be the basis of the modern parochial system. Using evidence from homilies, canon law, saints' lives, and liturgical and penitential sources, the articles collected in this volume focus on the ways in which such developments were reflected in pastoral care, considering what it consisted of at this time, how it was provided and by whom. Starting with an investigation of the secular clergy, their recruitment and patronage, the papers move on to examine a variety of aspects of late Anglo-Saxon pastoral care, including church due payments, preaching, baptism, penance, confession, visitation of the sick and archaeological evidence of burial practice. Special attention is paid to the few surviving manuscripts which are likely to have been used in the field and the evidence they provide for the context, the actions and the verbal exchanges which characterised pastoral provisions.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-419-5
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. List of Contributors
    (pp. vii-vii)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. viii-viii)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-16)
    Francesca Tinti

    ‘Pastoral care’ is not easy to define. The phrase can be stretched to accommodate different definitions, which obviously depend on the historical period for which it is used. In general terms it can be employed to refer to all the activities carried out by the clergy to assist and support the spiritual life of the laity.¹ The adjective ‘pastoral’ derives from the image of the shepherd used in both the Old and the New Testaments as a metaphor for God’s continuous love and care of His people. Sacraments have always had a special place among the activities and the liturgical...

  7. 1 The Clergy in English Dioceses c. 900–c. 1066
    (pp. 17-26)
    Julia Barrow

    The clergy of late Anglo-Saxon England have not received the most favourable of presses, as the quotation above shows. Too often they are defined for us by the much more literate monks of the Benedictine reform movement, who, although they formed only a small part of the late Anglo-Saxon ecclesiastical establishment, set the tone and the agenda for the rest from the reign of Edgar onwards.² More problematic for the historian of the clergy is that they have not been recorded for us in sufficient detail. For the historian of the later Middle Ages, that is to say of the...

  8. 2 The ‘Costs’ of Pastoral Care: Church Dues in Late Anglo-Saxon England
    (pp. 27-51)
    Francesca Tinti

    This passage from Emperor Lothar’s Capitulare missorum of 832 establishes a very specific and explicit relationship between the delivery of pastoral care and the obligation on the part of the recipients to pay tithes in return for it and to participate in the restoration of the church from which they receive their sacraments. The direct relation between the reception of cura animarum and the payment of church dues represents an important and recurrent aspect of Carolingian legislation on tithes.

    Although in the Old Testament and in the early history of Christianity tithes were considered the special property of God, it...

  9. 3 Ælfric in Dorset and the Landscape of Pastoral Care
    (pp. 52-62)
    Jonathan Wilcox

    The voice of pastoral care in late Anglo-Saxon England is, to a very great extent, the voice of one single writer: Ælfric. This monk of Cerne Abbas composed a remarkably extensive and well-informed commentary on the Christian story, on the individual’s responsibility to society, and on ethics and morality in sequences of homilies and saints’ lives that dominate the surviving record of Anglo-Saxon preaching. In broad terms, Ælfric’s works are what survive of pastoral care in action in late Anglo-Saxon England. For all that those works have been the object of much study, the very fact of one monk in...

  10. 4 Is there any Evidence for the Liturgy of Parish Churches in Late Anglo-Saxon England? The Red Book of Darley and the Status of Old English
    (pp. 63-82)
    Helen Gittos

    In the mid eleventh century, a substantial proportion of the population of England would have had access to a local church. Such institutions varied greatly, encompassing both the faded glory of a once great mother church which retained a small community of clerks, and the small chapel newly built by a local lord and served by a single priest.² If the estimates of the number of churches built (or rebuilt) in the later tenth and eleventh centuries are anything like accurate, there must have been a lot of liturgy going on.³ What, for example, did the priest of the tiny...

  11. 5 Remedies for ‘Great Transgressions’: Penance and Excommunication in Late Anglo-Saxon England
    (pp. 83-105)
    Sarah Hamilton

    The act of penance, in Burchard of Worms’ words, both corrects the bodies of sinful men, and acts as medicine for their souls.¹ The tension between its disciplinary and curative aspects will be explored in this two-part study, focusing firstly on the attempts by the higher clergy in the late Anglo-Saxon Church to ensure that devotional penance played a regular part in the life of every Christian, and secondly on the provisions made for those contumacious sinners who refused to come to penance.

    Penance is a vague term, and what is meant by paenitentia is not always clear. The clergy...

  12. 6 The Pastoral Contract in Late Anglo-Saxon England: Priest and Parishioner in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Laud Miscellaneous 482
    (pp. 106-120)
    Victoria Thompson

    In the mid eleventh-century manuscript, Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Laud Miscellaneous 482, vernacular confessional and penitential texts are juxtaposed with the ordines for the sick and dying, a unique combination in the surviving Anglo-Saxon material.¹ Although in themselves most of these texts are conventional, their combination is not, and furthermore the ordines have exceptionally long and detailed vernacular rubrics.² The present discussion asks whether this manuscript, written (probably in Worcester) by a single scribe, can tell us anything particular about pastoral care in the late Anglo-Saxon Church. Laud Misc. 482 refers to the priest-parishioner relationship many times, in many contexts...

  13. 7 Caring for the Dead in Late Anglo-Saxon England
    (pp. 121-147)
    Dawn M. Hadley and Jo Buckberry

    Textual evidence concerning the treatment of the dead in later Anglo-Saxon England provides an incomplete picture, and this article examines the ways in which the study of the archaeology of funerary practices may cast new light on the issue. The burial practices of the earlier Anglo-Saxon period have been extensively studied, but those of the tenth and eleventh centuries have received comparatively little attention from archaeologists. While the results from a small number of well-excavated late Anglo-Saxon cemeteries have been published, either as full excavation reports or in summary form, the results of many other excavations remain unpublished and largely...

  14. Index
    (pp. 148-152)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 153-153)