Eschatology and Christian Nurture: Themes in Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Religious Life, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Eschatology and Christian Nurture

Themes in Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Religious Life, 1st Edition

By Milton McC. Gatch


346 pages

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Hardback: 9780860788270
pub: 2000-06-21
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Professor Gatch opens with three essays providing an overview of the themes of this book: eschatology and the basic education of the laity. Despite an undoubted acceptance of immortality and an active afterlife, Gatch believes that medieval eschatology remained strikingly oriented to the New Testament picture of the apocalypse and the resurrection of the dead. This is explored in studies on spirituality and perceptions of eternity in the Anglo-Saxon church, and a long essay surveys the teachings in the anonymous Old English homilies. The following studies look at what can be learned of the audience of such homilies in pre-Conquest England, and at their wider European context. The final pieces consider reflections of piety in treatments of the Noah story and in a little text about the piety of a late-Saxon nobleman.


'… a distinguished addition to the Variorum Collected Studies series… The (…) collection has a striking underlying unity and cumulatively makes an eloquent case for an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Anglo-Saxon culture and religion…. Throughout, the writing of Gatch is elegant, learned and meticulous in its scholarship. This collection is a reflection of the substantial contribution the author has made to the study of Anglo-Saxon Christianity in its broader contexts…' Notes and Queries

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Some theological reflections on death from the Early Church through the Reformation; Basic Christian education from the decline of catechesis to the rise of the catechisms; The Harrowing of Hell: a liberation motif in medieval theology and devotional literature; The Anglo-Saxon tradition; Perceptions of eternity; Two uses of apocrypha in Old English homilies; Eschatology in the anonymous Old English homilies; The unknowable audience of the Blickling Homilies; The achievement of Ælfric and his colleagues in European perspective; The Office in late Anglo-Saxon monasticism; Noah's raven in Genesis A and the illustrated Old English hexateuch; Miracles in architectural settings: Christ Church Canterbury, and St Clement's, Sandwich in the Old English Vision of Leofric; Piety and liturgy in the Old English Vision of Leofric; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General