The Legacy of Gildas: Constructions of Authority in the Early Medieval West

2018-01-15T21:57:39Z (GMT) by STEPHEN JAMES JOYCE
Perceptions of the early medieval Christian culture of the British Isles have long been shaped by a sense that this culture evolved away from the episcopal structures of the continental Roman Church immediately after the fall of the Roman Empire. Within the limited sources that describe this ‘Celtic Christianity’, the Briton Gildas emerges as a significant figure. In exploring the legacy of Gildas, this thesis demonstrates that the Christian culture of the British Isles in the early medieval period was neither idiosyncratic nor exceptional but, rather, connected to broader contestations over innovations in political and ecclesiastical authority in Western Europe.