Today in Christian History

March 20

March 20, 687: Cuthbert, bishop of Lindisfarne and a vocal supporter of Celtic practices over Roman ones, dies. Shortly thereafter the Lindisfarne Gospels monks created created in his honor (see issue 60: How the Irish Were Saved).

March 20, 1747: Severely ill with tuberculosis, Presbyterian missionary David Brainerd ends his work among the Native Americans of Delaware (see issue 77: Jonathan Edwards).

March 20, 1852: Abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, daughter of famous Congregational minister Lyman Beecher, publishes Uncle Tom's Cabin (which had been serialized in an antislavery newspaper). The book sold one million copies and was so influential in arousing antislavery sentiment that Abraham Lincoln is reputed to have said upon meeting Stowe in 1863: "So you're the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!" (see issue 33: Christianity and the Civil War).

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April 19, 526: Justinian I is crowned Roman Emperor in Constantinople's magnificent cathedral, the Santa Sophia. Attempting to restore political and religious unity in the eastern and western empires, he ruthlessly attacked pagans and heretics and created the Code of Justinian, a massive restructuring of law (including much regarding the relationship of church and state) that would be the basis of legislation for nearly a millennium.

April 19, 1054: Pope Leo IX dies. Because Leo refused the title ...

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