Shrines, special burials, and the Christianization of Britain

Title: Shrines, special burials, and the Christianization of Britain
Variant title:
  • Svatyně, zvláštní pohřební praktiky a christianizace Británie
Author: Bunce, Megan
Source document: Convivium. 2021, vol. 8, iss. Supplementum 3, pp. [128]-145
  • ISSN
    2336-3452 (print)
    2336-808X (online)
Type: Article
Summary language
License: Not specified license
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Material culture is central to a nuanced understanding of the complex, non-linear processes of conversion and Christianization in Britain and Ireland. This paper explores the relationship between saints' shrines and wider funerary practice in early medieval Britain. It identifies shrines as an important category of surviving material culture that furthers understanding of the renegotiation of elite identities and authority in the conversion period. It situates shrines in the context of existing funerary monuments and practices and identifies several material continuities between special graves in traditional cemeteries and shrines at church sites. Finally, it argues that particularly local elite mortuary practices influenced the development of relic cults in Britain in the seventh century.