The Church and the Dark Ages (430–1027)

St. Benedict, Charlemagne, and the Rise of Christendom
Edited by: Mike Aquilina
Introduction by: Mike Aquilina

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Format: Paperback

Publication date: December 17, 2021

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What if the Dark Ages weren’t really dark after all?

You may have learned in world history class that the fall of the Roman Empire led to centuries of violence, ignorance, and barbarism in Europe. But that’s not all that happened during that time! The period between the fall of the Roman Empire and the High Middle Ages also was characterized by institutional, spiritual, and cultural advancements such as the rise of monasticism with St. Benedict of Nursia and the first encyclopedia by a Christian writer, St. Isidore of Seville.

In The Church and the Dark Ages (430–1027), author Phillip Campbell explains that the Dark Ages were not only a period of great political and cultural transition but also an era of great transformation in the Catholic Church. Campbell highlights key personalities of the Dark Ages such as St. Gregory the Great, Charlemagne, King Alfred the Great, St. Patrick, and St. Brigid.

You will learn that:

  • Benedictines were responsible for technical and scientific advancements such as the mechanical clock, human flight, and eyeglasses.
  • The Dark Ages was a period of great evangelization throughout Europe.
  • Christianity elevated the status of women, particularly through mutual consent in the Sacrament of Marriage.
  • The Church preserved literacy—and literature—throughout the chaotic centuries of early medieval Europe.

Books in the Reclaiming Catholic History series, edited by Mike Aquilina and written by leading authors and historians, bring Church history to life, debunking the myths one era at a time.

Product Details

Pages: 192

Trim size: 6 x 9 inches

ISBN: 9781646800353

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

More Books in the Reclaiming Catholic History Series

  • “A necessary addition to every Catholic home.”

    “Phillip Campbell's worthy addition to the Reclaiming Catholic History series presents the five hundred years from the end of the classical age to the beginnings of the high Middle Ages in a compelling and positive light. The story of the Church is expertly told in an engaging manner and is a necessary addition to every Catholic home.”

    Steve Weidenkopf
    Author of The Church and the Middle Ages (100–1378)

  • “Engaging, instructive, and eminently enjoyable.”

    “Engaging, instructive, and eminently enjoyable. From the death of St. Augustine in 430 to the peace of God established by the Synod of Elne in 1027, the ages were not as dark as commonly believed, and it was the Church who carried the light, above all in the hands of her saints.”

    John P. Joy
    Senior theologian to Bishop Donald Hying of Madison

  • “A boon and a blessing.”

    “The Reclaiming Catholic History series is a boon and a blessing. It allows us to remember the past in an age of amnesia. Philip Campbell’s volume in this splendid series on the so-called Dark Ages shows us that they were anything but dark, but were instead the very dawn of Christendom, heralding the civilization of the Risen Son.”

    Joseph Pearce
    Editor of St. Austin Review 

  • “Share this book with your students.”

    “Read this book to gain a greater awareness of the pivotal role the Catholic Church played in spiritually bridging the challenging yet eternally productive span of time between the fall of Rome and the intellectually enriching Middle Ages. Then share it with your students.”

    Justin McClain
    Catholic author and teacher

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