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The story of English Christianity begins with a man who was being called “the Venerable” within a generation of his passing. That story and even the very concept of “the English people” began with a monk who toiled for years writing one of the great historical works in early European history. While monasteries originated with a desire to withdraw from the world to worship God, Bede embodied the great civilizing aspect of the medieval monastery—the production and transmission of knowledge. He helped set the standard for learning and scholarship and demonstrated the importan