Main | Tour | Learning | Events
tour title title image  
Introduction | The book | Its creation | The Gospels' world | Meaning
To the maker | To Christianity | To society | Today
 

Meaning - to society

Christianity helped to transform Anglo-Saxon society, but also preserved its traditions.

The Lindisfarne Gospels displays a vision of Christianity that was inclusive, welcoming to all. It wanted to emphasise a new culture that stretched from Britain and Ireland to the farthest shores of the Mediterranean and which was related to other faith traditions.

You could tell a Pict, a Copt, a Frank, an Angle or a Saxon by their appearance. Dress and jewellery could signal identity, belief and status in well-recognised ways. We do the same today.

Visual references in the Lindisfarne Gospels would have been widely understood. Bringing them together in one book brought a sense of cohesion and identity to a new Christian nation. It was also a reflection of what was happening socially and politically as many cultures contributed to an emergent 'England'.

 



Kingston Down brooch, Anglo-Saxon, early 7th century
Courtesy of Liverpool Museum, National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside.

Click for enlarged image
 
Introduction The book Its creation The Gospels' world Meaning Turning the Pages
  Send an ecard

Copyright © The British Library Board