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The Christian Economy of the Early Medieval West: Towards a Temple Society

Ian Wood

Published onNov 08, 2021
The Christian Economy of the Early Medieval West: Towards a Temple Society
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The Christian Economy of the Early Medieval West: Towards a Temple Society

Ian Wood

Imprint: Gracchi Books

  • ISBN: 978-1-68571-026-2

  • Paperback, 5×8 in., B/W, 250pp.

  • Publication date: January 6, 2022

  • Price: $21

  • BISAC: REL108020, BUS023000

  • Thema: 3KH-ES-A, QRMP, KCZ, NHTB, JBSR

  • Categories: Economic History, Christianity, Early Middle Ages

The establishment of Christianity in the late- and post-Roman world caused an economic as well as a religious revolution, but, while a great deal of attention has been paid to the religious developments of the period, the impact of the establishment of the Church on the economy has attracted remarkably little attention. The Christian Economy of the Early Medieval West: Towards a Temple Society examines the chronology of the Church’s acquisition of wealth, and particularly of landed property, as well as the distribution of its income, in the period between the conversion of Constantine and the eighth century.

In this book, the society that emerged as a result of the Church’s acquisition of land is interpreted in the light of the anthropological model of the “Temple Society,” a concept developed from Karl Marx’s so-called “Asiatic Mode of Production.” The emergence of a socio-economic system dominated by the Church is presented as a crucial development in the history of western Europe.

Ian Wood is Emeritus Professor of Early Medieval History at the University of Leeds, where he taught from 1976 to 2015. He is the author of several books, including The Merovingian Kingdoms, 450–751 (1994), The Missionary Life: Saints and the eEangelisation of Europe 400–1050 (2001), The Modern Origins of the Early Middle Ages (2013), and The Transformation of the Roman West (2018). He is the co-author of Avitus of Vienne, Letters and Selected Prose (2002), with Danuta Shanzer, Fragments of History: Rethinking the Ruthwell and Bewcastle Monuments (2007), with Fred Orton and Clare Lees, Abbots of Wearmouth and Jarrow (2014), with Chris Grocock, and Jonas of Bobbio, Life of Columbanus, Life of John of Réomé, and Life of Vedast (2017), with Alexander O'Hara. He has also written numerous articles. He was a co-ordinator of the European Science Foundation project on The Transformation of the Roman World (1989–92, 1992–80). He was elected to the British Academy in 2019.

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