Darby, Peter Nicholas (2009)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Restricted to Repository staff only until 24 June 2015.
This thesis examines the eschatological thought of Bede (673-735). Relevant content is drawn from a wide range of Bede’s exegetical and non-exegetical works. The world ages analogy, crucial to Bede’s perception of time, chronology and eschatology, is discussed in the first four chapters. These chapters explain the significant changes that Bede made to the analogy following an allegation of heresy that arose in 708. Chapters five, six and seven outline Bede’s beliefs regarding key eschatological concepts such as: Antichrist, the day of judgement and the post-judgement afterlife. Bede’s ‘eschatological perspective’ is the final major theme to be considered. Bede’s perceived proximity to the end of time is shown to be a variable factor that changed according to time and circumstance. The thesis reveals that Bede was an innovative scholar who re-worked the traditional theoretical models that he inherited from earlier Christian theologians. Bede is shown to be a commanding scholarly authority who played an important role in defining the eschatological beliefs of his contemporaries. Finally, this thesis distinguishes aspects of Bede’s early eschatological thought from his beliefs in the mature stages of his authorial career. This has implications for the dating termini of several texts.
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