Christianity: Survival and Reemergence

  • Alexandra SanmarkEmail author
Living reference work entry


The spread of Christianity across Europe was a process that took the best part of a thousand years, from the very start of the Middle Ages when traces of Roman Christianity still remained, to the fourteenth century when Christianity was introduced in Lithuania.


The study of this complex process involves the two key terms of conversion and Christianization. Conversion relates to the personal acceptance of Christianity, while Christianization is used to describe the long-term transformation of a non-Christian society into a Christian one.

Historical Background

The Christianization usually forms an important part of a country’s grand, national narrative. Such accounts tend to be rather condensed versions of events, based on medieval written sources. This can be problematic, mainly since these sources do not provide any insight into the experiences of the people being converted. The sources also frequently focus on what can be termed the official conversion, i.e....

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Northern StudiesUniversity of the Highlands and IslandsPerthUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Tadhg O'Keeffe
    • 1
  1. 1.School of ArchaeologyUniversity College DublinBelfieldIreland