What's a Nice God like You Doing in a Place like This?

Carole Cusack

Abstract


Conversion to Christianity has been traditionally regarded as a psychological phenomenon, an interior change which involved the individual convert realising that the old religion 'was wrong and the new is right'. However, the process of conversion rarely conformed to this model and usually involved whole socio-political groups encountering the new faith and making corporate decisions to adopt it. Christianity came to Anglo-Saxon England through the mission of Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory the Great to the kingdom of Kent in 597 CE. Medieval missionaries generally approached the king and effected the conversion of the people by converting him, and all those bound to the king by ties of loyalty 'converted' at the same time.

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