St Dunstan lived in the tenth century, between 909 and 988. He developed the ancient church foundation at Glastonbury into the first Benedictine monastery in England, and later served as Archbishop of Canterbury for twenty-eight years. He was a scholar, artist and musician, as well as a contemplative spiritual father.
Why is his life and work of interest today after one thousand years? His influence touched many areas of English life in a way that helped determine the foundations of medieval and early modern society. He was a very gifted and many-sided person, whose experience bears out the meaning of the words of Christ: ‘I have come that they may have life—life in all its fullness.’
This study attempts to piece together a coherent picture of his spiritual vision from the documents and works of art that remain from his time. Dunstan emerges as one of the most interesting and significant of the English saints.
The Revd Douglas Dales is Chaplain and Head of Religious Studies at Marlborough College, Wiltshire, and is a priest associate of SLG.