By Germanic Christianity is that phase in the history of Northern Europe understood, when the Germanic peoples that in the first millennium were known for migrations and barbarian attacks were incorporated in Western Christianity.
By Christianization, the Germanic peoples were adowed with the organization of the Catholic Church, firstly among the Franks, whose leader, Clovis I, embraced Catholicism in 496. Subsequently, the Franks became standard-bearers of orthodox Catholicism in Western Europe, waging wars on its behalf against Arian Christians, Islamic invaders, and heathen Germanic peoples such as the Saxons and Frisians.
Until 1066, when the Danes and the Norse had lost their foothold in Britain, theological and missionary work in Germany was largely organized from Britain, but not very successful. In the political and military sphere, however, the Saxons were the object of intense military pressure by Charlemagne and the Franks, culminating in the defeat and massacre of Saxon leaders at Verden in 787 and the annexation of the tribe.
Thereafter, the vast territories of Northern Europe was more successfully converted to Christianity under German leadership, and made into nation states under the Church's guidance, finalized in the Northern Crusades. As a result, German and Scandinavian noblemen extended their power to also Finnic, Samic, Baltic and some Slavic peoples.
This Germanic dominance over North-Western Europe would come to last for most of the second millennium.
List of missionaries
Missionaries that converted Germanic peoples to Christianity:
- Ulfilas (4th century)
- Columbanus (Irish, 6th century)
- Saint Boniface (English, 8th century)
- Saint Walpurga, Saint Willibald and Saint Winibald (English siblings assisting St Boniface)
- Saint Pirmin (8th century)
- Ansgar (9th century)
- Adam of Bremen (11th century)
See also: Arianism.