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Contexts for Pastoral Care: Anglo-Saxon Priests and Priestly Books, c. 900–1100

Dyson, Gerald P. (2016) Contexts for Pastoral Care: Anglo-Saxon Priests and Priestly Books, c. 900–1100. PhD thesis, University of York.

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This thesis is an examination and analysis of the books needed by and available to Anglo-Saxon priests for the provision of pastoral care in the tenth and eleventh centuries. Anglo-Saxon priests are a group that has not previously been studied as such due to the scattered and difficult nature of the evidence. By synthesizing previous scholarly work on the secular clergy, pastoral care, and priests’ books, this thesis aims to demonstrate how priestly manuscripts can be used to inform our understanding of the practice of pastoral care in Anglo-Saxon England. In the first section of this thesis (Chapters 2–4), I will discuss the context of priestly ministry in England in the tenth and eleventh centuries before arguing that the availability of a certain set of pastoral texts prescribed for priests by early medieval bishops was vital to the provision of pastoral care. Additionally, I assert that Anglo-Saxon priests in general had access to the necessary books through means such as episcopal provision and aristocratic patronage and were sufficiently literate to use these texts. The second section (Chapters 5–7) is divided according to different types of priestly texts and through both documentary evidence and case studies of specific manuscripts, I contend that the analysis of individual priests’ books clarifies our view of pastoral provision and that these books are under-utilized resources in scholars’ attempts to better understand contemporary pastoral care. Furthermore, this thesis will expand the corpus of manuscripts thought to have been used by Anglo-Saxon priests. In particular, I will argue that London, British Library, Cotton Vespasian D. XV and Warsaw, Biblioteka Narodowa, I. 3311 (the Warsaw Lectionary) are best understood as Anglo-Saxon priestly manuscripts.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Anglo-Saxon priests, pastoral care, priests' books, clergy, secular clerics, The Warsaw Lectionary
Academic Units: The University of York > History (York)
Depositing User: Mr. Gerald P. Dyson
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2016 14:44
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2016 14:44
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/13367

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