The creation of a new history of the Church at the beginning of the third millennium is an ambitious but necessary project. Perhaps nowhere is it needed more than in re-describing the Church's development - its life and its thinking - in the period that followed the end of the 'early Church' in antiquity. The cultural, social and political dominance of Christendom in what we now call 'the West', from about 600-1300, made the Christian Church a shaper of the modern world in respects which go far beyond its religious influence. Writing with her customary authority, and with a magisterial grasp of the original sources, G. R. Evans brings this formative era vividly to life both for the student of religious history and general reader. She concentrates as much on the colourful human episodes of the time as on broader institutional and intellectual developments. The result is a compelling and thoroughly modern introduction to devotional and theological thought in the early Middle Ages as well as to ecclesiastical and pastoral life at large.
G R Evans is Professor of Medieval Theology and Intellectual History in the University of Cambridge. The author of over 50 books, including Belief: A Short History for Today (I.B.Tauris, 2006), she is also general editor of the series in which this volume appears.