This World is in Haste
This chapter argues that English culture around the year 1000 had reached an ideological crisis, in the aftermath of the Benedictine Reform movement, which had placed monasticism at the forefront of society. The king was envisaged as the head and protector of the monastic church, while influential writings regarded society as on the edge of an apocalyptic decline, and castigated laypeople for their impious lives. The old heroic ideals of Anglo-Saxon society came under unprecedented ideological strain, and the historical writings of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles show a bleak and pessimistic outlook. Only when new secular ideals had gained ground in English political culture could this pressure be relieved.
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