Platonism and Plagiarism at the End of the Middle Ages

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Contribution to Book

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The anniversary of Augustine’s arrival in Kent in 597, and the subsequent christianization of England, made conversion an obvious theme for the 1997 International Medieval Congress. It was also a theme which attracted massive interest, and not just from early medievalists interested in the christianization of England and its near-contemporary parallels. This volume presents reworkings of 28 of these contributions.

The Early Middle Ages are represented in a number of papers concerned with Central and Eastern Europe and as far east as Georgia. Interest in the Baltic region took this aspect of the christianization of Europe well into the fourteenth century. Papers on these regions constitute a good proportion of the present volume, and they provide a very useful point of entry into work currently being done on christinization in areas which are less well known to most historians than is Western Europe not least because of the range of languages involved.

With respect to later periods of the Middle Ages two issues predominated: one was the interface between Christians and Muslims in Spain and in the Holy Land and also between Christians and Jews once again in Spain, but also in England, and more generally in Western Europe. The other was the rather more theological question of the nature of conversion, as discussed by Aquinas, and in Franciscan writings. This wide-ranging volume concentrates on historical approaches to the topic. The different types of questions posed and materials used are a fascinating indication of the different interpretations to be found among specialists in different fields.

Christianization, as a process affecting complete peoples, or at least large groups, attracts attention, as does conversion of the individual. By putting these varying approaches together, this collection indicates the range of current work on christianization and conversion history and the range itself, quite apart from the individual studies, is an eye-opener.


Guyda Armstrong & Ian N. Wood









Publication Information

Christianizing Peoples and Converting Individuals