New Light on the Manx Crosses
Professor Sir David M. Wilson
It is more than a century since P.M.C. Kermode wrote his great work on the early Christian and Viking-Age crosses of the Isle of Man. It is extraordinary how far-seeing and broad-minded he was –perhaps the greatest scholar the Isle of Man has ever produced. But the number of crosses on which he based his book has more than doubled since he wrote (although most of the later finds are fragmentary). As is natural, while many of his interpretations still stand, modifications, new finds and more detailed study outside the Island have shifted scholars’ view of these internationally-famed memorials of our past. In this lecture the crosses will be set against the background of modern scholarship, which has itself moved on greatly – particularly in the last thirty years – and produced new interpretations and new dating, placing the monuments in their context both in the Island, in the British Isles and in Scandinavia, as well as throwing new light on the development of Christianity in Man and the contacts the Island had with other cultures in the period 500-1060 AD.
David Wilson has lived in the Island for many years and is a leading student of the period and its monuments.