A History of Christianity in Wales

Author(s) David Jones,Barry Lewis,Madeleine Gray,D. Densil Morgan

Language: English

Genre(s): Religion

  • February 2022 · 384 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Paperback - 9781786838216
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786838223
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786838230

About The Book

Christianity, in its Catholic, Protestant and Nonconformist forms, has played an enormous role in the history of Wales and in the defining and shaping of Welsh identity over the past two thousand years. Biblical place names, an urban and rural landscape littered with churches, chapels, crosses and sacred sites, a bardic and literary tradition deeply imbued with Christian themes in both the Welsh and English languages, and the songs sung by tens of thousands of rugby supporters at the national stadium in Cardiff, all hint at a Christian presence that was once universal. Yet for many in contemporary Wales, the story of the development of Christianity in their country remains little known. While the history of Christianity in Wales has been a subject of perennial interest for Welsh historians, much of their work has been highly specialised and not always accessible to a general audience. Standing on the shoulders of some of Wales’s finest historians, this is the first single-volume history of Welsh Christianity from its origins in Roman Britain to the present day. Drawing on the expertise of four leading historians of the Welsh Christian tradition, this volume is specifically designed for the general reader, and those beginning their exploration of Wales’s Christian past.


'In this authoritative and engaging history of Christianity in Wales, two experts explain pre-Reformation developments with full use of archaeological evidence, and two more carry the story from the Reformation down to the present day. This is an illuminating study based on up-to-date scholarship.’
-David Bebbington, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Stirling
‘A distinguished team of expert historians has produced an outstanding book that should please those already knowledgeable about the Welsh Christian past but also, with its accessible prose in service to crystal-clear presentation, attract readers new to the subject.’
-Mark Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame
‘The history of Welsh Christianity and the history of the Welsh language in any recognizable form begin at very much the same point … This book will be a work to which the reader can turn to understand both Welsh society and the resources of the Christian tradition across the centuries.’
-Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Wales, 1999–2002, Archbishop of Canterbury, 2002–12


Rowan Williams

David Ceri Jones

Chapter 1. Roman Beginnings, c.AD 1–c.AD 400
Barry J. Lewis

Chapter 2. The Age of Conversion, c.400-c.600
Barry J. Lewis

Chapter 3. The Definition of Christian Wales, c.600-c.800
Barry J. Lewis

Chapter 4. Vikings to Normans, c.800-c.1070
Barry J. Lewis

Chapter 5. The Age of Definition and Hierarchy, c.1066-c.1200
Madeleine Gray

Chapter 6. Conquest and Apocalypse, c.1200-c.1420
Madeleine Gray

Chapter 7. Y Ganrif Aur: Christianity in Late Medieval Wales, c.1420-c.1530
Madeleine Gray

Chapter 8. Reformation Wales, 1530-1603
David Ceri Jones

Chapter 9. Securing a Protestant Wales, 1603-1760
David Ceri Jones

Chapter 10. Building a Nonconformist nation, 1760-1890
D. Densil Morgan

Chapter 11. Adapting to a Secular Wales, 1890-2020
D. Densil Morgan & David Ceri Jones

A Guide to Further Reading


About the Author(s)

Author(s): David Jones

David Ceri Jones is Reader in Early Modern History at Aberystwyth University.

Read more

Author(s): Barry Lewis

Barry J. Lewis holds a professorship in the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

Read more

Author(s): Madeleine Gray

Madeleine Gray is Professor Emerita of Ecclesiastical History at the University of South Wales.

Read more

Author(s): D. Densil Morgan

D. Densil Morgan is Emeritus Professor of Theology at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, Lampeter.

Read more