Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 12112
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Armstrong , Dorsey.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Holy Queens as Agents of Christianization in Bede's "Ecclesiastical History": A Reconsideration
  • Source: Medieval Encounters: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Culture in Confluence and Dialogue 4, 3 (November 1998): Pages 228 - 241.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Æthelburh, Wife of Edwin, King of Northumbria Bede, the Venerable, Scholar- Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum Conversion, Religious in Literature Latin Literature Queens in Literature Women in Literature Women in Religion
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 8
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  • Abstract: The Venerable Bede's "Ecclesiastical History of the English People" contains numerous accounts of what has been termed by some scholars "conversion by marriage," episodes in which a royal bride acts as the first agent of Chrisitianity in a heathen land. Yet, a close examination of the accounts of the Northumbrian, Kentish, Middle Angle and South Saxon conversions reveals a manipulation of the histroical accounts which serves to de-empahasize the power and participation of these queens in the subsequent Chrisitinization of the nation. This article argues that the "conversion by marriage" model in the "Ecclesiastical History" is, in fact, not a viable model at all. This article will further argue that analysis of these particular conversion narratives reveals less about the power and influence of royal women (or Bede's own attitudes and concerns regarding the matter) and more about the larger agenda of the text. An analysis of the intersection of gender and faith within Bede's work points to the sublety of purpose and design behind the massive undertaking which was the "Ecclesiasical History." [Reproduced by permission of Brill].
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  • Year of Publication: 1998.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 13807854
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