A couple of weeks ago, I had a chance to visit the lovely Northumberland region of the UK. Among the sights I took in was Holy Island of Lindisfarne, the site of one of the earliest Christian outposts in Britain, from where a series of doughty saints spread Christianity in the North of Britain, starting in the 7th century. The story of Holy Island is a story of slow and steady Christianization of the region, against a backdrop of Viking raids, wars between England and Scotland, and changing relationships with local royalty. It also showcases the complexity of the process by which Christianity altered the societal fabric of Europe, modifying and being modified by existing local political and civic institutions.
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