'Gregory the Great as "Apostle of the English" in Post-Conquest Canterbury'

Hayward, Paul Antony (2004) 'Gregory the Great as "Apostle of the English" in Post-Conquest Canterbury'. The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 55 (1). pp. 19-57. ISSN 0022-0469

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This article re-examines the history of a saint’s cult that has been taken as a crucial test case in discussions of Norman attitudes towards Anglo-Saxon culture. The first study to offer a systematic survey of the liturgical, diplomatic and hagiographical evidence, it shows that the promotion of Gregory the Great as ‘Apostle of the English’ was not – as argued by the late Richard Southern – a concession to native ethnic sensibilities on the part of the Archbishop Anselm (1093-1109), but a contribution to the exemption dispute between the archbishopric of Canterbury and St Augustine’s Abbey. In so doing, the article draws attention to the ways in which ethnic rhetoric was constructed and manipulated to support claims to status and power in the context of medieval colonialism. A secondary theme is the intersections between local conflicts between churches over status and privilege, and the (inter)national issues of Church-State relations in the Middle Ages – especially the English version of the Investiture Contest.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
The Journal of Ecclesiastical History
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The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 55 (1), pp 19-57 2004, © 2004 Cambridge University Press.
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25 Nov 2008 15:32
Last Modified:
18 Oct 2023 00:30