Alcuin of York (d. 804) has not received complete consideration in his own right despite his great influence upon the formation of early medieval Christian theology in the Europe of Charlemagne. Alcuin was a teacher of great importance in this formative time of Church history. His writings on theology clearly and concisely summarised the teachings of the Fathers of the Church and made them accessible to many at that time and for a long period thereafter. He helped to unite the theology of the Church into authoritative doctrine for all of Western Europe.
This meticulously researched study of Alcuin's theology fills the need for a work about this key figure in the development of the Western Church. It is complements Alcuin - his Life & Legacy and is the second part of a full length study that brings together Continental and English-speaking scholarship.
This book analyses every aspect of his life and work as a teacher, theologian, and scholar. The author alerts readers initially to the influence of Alcuin's mentor, Bede; then it considers Alcuin's time as a scholar in the court of Charlemagne, his role in the Adoptionist crisis, his influence on missionary and political theology, and the importance of his biblical exegesis in the formation of his own theology and his contribution to Christian liturgy. Further sections explore different aspects of Alcuin's thought and teaching, including his theology of prayer and education, as well providing a study of his poetry and of Alcuin's theology of friendship. The book includes extracts from Alcuin's writings, some of which have never been translated before into English, along with a foreword written by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams. This study is supported by an extensive bibliography and a glossary of key Christian Latin vocabulary used by Alcuin and his contemporaries.
Douglas Dales has written extensively on the history of the Anglo-Saxon church as well as on theology. Prompted to write about Alcuin of York by his study for his previous works Dunstan: Saint and Statesman and Light to the Isles: Mission and Theology in Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Britain, which focus on the time before and after Alcuin's period of influence, this work along with Alcuin - His Life & Legacy, and accompanied by these previous studies, comprise a comprehensive history of the Anglo-Saxon Church in its relationship with the Continent of Europe. The author hopes that through this authoritative work on Alcuin of York, this influential theologian may be recognised as a Doctor of the Church along with his own inspiration, Bede.
Alcuin: Theology and Thought is an indispensable book for those teaching or studying early medieval history or theology, but it is designed to be accessible for everyone interested in this fascinating period of medieval history.