Christianity In Beowulf Research Paper

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Christianity changed English society and culture at two different times during the course of English history, which is evident in the type of literature the nation produced. The first major change to England caused by Christianity occurred in the early Middle Ages from the conversion of the Saxons to Christianity, which led to literacy and the development of Old English religious poetry as well as secular poetry that reflected Christian values (Godden and Lapidge, 6). The second major change to England related to Christianity came during the sixteenth century when Henry VII established the Church of England. The introduction of Protestantism into England fostered the development of literature that reflected Puritan values as well as a disconnection between the human the divine (Sinfield, 45). Christianity and Old English Literature It is likely that Christianity was introduced into England approximately 37 A.D. during the reign of Tiberius Caesar, but was practiced primarily by the Romans and some Celts prior to the fall of Rome. Christianity did not spread significantly in England until it was introduced to the Saxon invaders of England in approximately 600 A.D. when Pope Gregory I dispatched Augustine and forty…show more content…
In Beowulf, for example, Christian themes are intertwined with the traditional behaviors of heroes. The Beowulf story has a secular purpose yet it includes elements that are clearly Christian such as the intervention of God bringing victory in battle (Cavill, 17). The approach in secular poetry often does not directly mention the general tenets of Christianity, but nonetheless indirectly incorporates elements reflecting Christian beliefs and values. It is likely that monks inserted some of the text concerning Christian beliefs when copying manuscripts of the traditional Saxon

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