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This re-release of Dunstan: Saint and Statesman, twenty-five years after its original publication, offers a fresh vista upon the resources that were available for the monastic reformers of the tenth century, with particular reference to the influence of Alcuin, and provides an updated bibliography of the studies relating to this topic since 1988. This examination of the life of St Dunstan offers valuable insight into the history of the English Church and its theology in the century before the Norman Conquest of 1066.
Dunstan was a force for educational and Benedictine monastic renewal in the Church and an influential royal advisor in tenth century England. He challenged the corrupt papacy and defined the role of the monasteries by drawing up the Regularis Concordia with Ethelwold of Winchester, as well as developing the coronation ceremony in the form that is still used for the English monarchy today. Dunstan was a skilled craftsman, leading later to his adoption as the patron saint of goldsmiths. He was also skilled in calligraphy, music and art, some of which survives to this day. Unfortunately, not many of his writings remain, so much of what is known about him must be gleaned from hagiography and other sources. Douglas Dales offers a highly detailed examination of the life of Dunstan, pieced together from the evidence that is available, an almost archaeological survey of the events reflecting the impress this pre-eminent figure in the history and development of the English Church.
Douglas Dales has written extensively about the history of the Anglo-Saxon church as well as on theology. This work, along with his other works Light to the Isles: Mission and Theology in Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Britain, Alcuin: Life and Legacy and Alcuin: Theology and Thought comprise a comprehensive history of the Anglo-Saxon Church in its relationship with the Continent of Europe. It is vital to understand these formative figures of Church history in order to witness the lasting influence they have had on England's history.
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