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The Rise of the Christian Economy in the post-Christian West

Ian Wood, University of Leeds

April 11, 2023 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · East Pyne 010

Program in Medieval Studies; Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies; Committee for the Study of Late Antiquity

Join us on April 11 for a lecture with Ian Wood, scholar of early medieval history and Professor emeritus at the University of Leeds, on the Christian economy of the early medieval west.

In recent years a number of historians, most notably Peter Brown, have drawn attention to ‘the spiritual economy’.  They have pointed to the significance of piety in the transfer of wealth.  What has received less attention is the extent to which this had an impact on economic life in general.  This can be measured by the accumulation of ecclesiastical wealth.  Here, the chronology of that accumulation is striking.  Whereas the underlying theology is fully set out in the fourth and fifth centuries, the large-scale endowment of the Church seems to come more than a century later. 

Reception to follow lecture. 

Sponsored by the Program in Medieval Studies, Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies and the Committee for the Study of Late Antiquity.

Please RSVP here.

To expand on the ideas presented in this broader lecture, Professor Wood will also be giving a seminar on Friday, April 14 from 2:30 – 4:00 pm in 103 Scheide Caldwell. All are welcome to RSVP for one or both events. More information on the seminar here.

Ian Wood is emeritus Professor of Early Medieval History, having retired from the University of Leeds, where he had taught for 39 years, in 2015.  He has also held guest-professorships at Vienna and Aarhus, and research fellowships in the Netherlands, the British School at Rome, the Collegium Budapest, the Polish Institute of Advanced Studies, and Tübingen.  He was involved in the foundation of the International Medieval Congress at Leeds.  From 1989-92 he was on the working party involved in setting up the European Science Foundation project on the Transformation of the Roman World, of which he was one of the coordinators from 1992-8.  He has published on Gregory of Tours, the Merovingians, Missionary Hagiography, the modern historiography of the early Middle Ages, the Transformation of the Roman World, and the Christian Economy of the early Medieval West, and has co-authored volumes on the Ruthwell and Bewcastle monuments, Avitus of Vienne and Columbanus.  He was elected fellow of the British Academy in 2019. 

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