Jill Fitzgerald
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Rebel clerics, monastic replacements
in Rebel angels
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Proems evoking the fall of the angels reach an apex of expression in the ‘New Minster Charter’, the prime textual forerunner to the Benedictine Reform. The charter’s author portrays the secular clerics at Winchester as a subversive threat to English ecclesiastical unity by aligning their alleged sinful behaviour with that of the ‘pride-filled angels’. I examine how the Winchester charters attest to the potency of biblical narrative in the lived experience of Anglo-Saxons through their depiction of adversaries to the English Christian community and in their aim to legally establish the secular canons as rebels. I also consider how these charters were not the first English documents to imagine disobedient and disorderly ecclesiastics as earthly replicas of the rebel angels, but represent part of a longer tradition of viewing the church as a reflection of the heavenly polity.

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Rebel angels

Space and sovereignty in Anglo-Saxon England

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