Church and Religion in an Age of Change
The individuality of ecclesiastical practice in Wales had been reinforced and deepened over the centuries by the relative isolation of the country, by the closeness of its ties with Ireland rather than with England and the Continent, by the defensive conservatism of its ecclesiastical personnel, and by the way in which native ecclesiastical practices and institutions had become entwined with the fabric and assumptions of Welsh secular society. Changes were certainly afoot in the church well before the advent of Normans. The coming of the Normans ensured that the transformation was effected more briskly, more thoroughly, and often more brutally than might otherwise have happened. In order to grasp the nature of that transformation, this chapter provides a brief sketch of some of the features of the native church on the eve of the coming of the Normans.
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