Churches and Social Power in Early Medieval Europe
Call Number: BR162.3 C495 2015 - Added 8/25/2017
Publication Date: 2015-12-24
Local churches were an established part of many towns and villages across early medieval Western Europe, and their continued presence make them an invaluable marker for comparing different societies. Up to now, however, the dynamics of power behind church building and the importance of their presence within the landscape have largely been neglected. This book takes a comparative and interdisciplinary approach to the study of early medieval churches, drawing together archaeology, history, architecture, and landscape studies in order to explore the relationship between church foundation, social power, and political organization across Europe. Key subjects addressed here include the role played by local elites and the importance of the church in buttressing authority, as well as the connections between archaeology and ideology, and the importance of individual church buildings in their broader landscape contexts. Bringing together case-studies from diverse regions across Western Europe (Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, France, the British Isles, Denmark, and Iceland), the seventeen contributions to this volume offer new insights into the relationships between church foundations, social power, and political organization. In doing so, they provide a means to better understand social power in the landscape of early medieval Europe.