Bede's Temple: An Image and its Interpretation

Bede's Temple: An Image and its Interpretation

by Conor O'Brien


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This volume examines the use of the image of the Jewish temple in the writings of the Anglo-Saxon theologian and historian, Bede (d. 735). The various Jewish holy sites described in the Bible possessed multiple different meanings for Bede and therefore this imagery provides an excellent window into his thought. Bede's Temple: An Image and its Interpretation examines Bede's use of the temple to reveal his ideas of history, the universe, Christ, the Church, and the individual Christian. Across his wide body of writings Bede presented an image of unity, whether that be the unity of Jew and gentile in the universal Church, or the unity of human and divine in the incarnate Christ, and the temple-image provided a means of understanding and celebrating that unity. Conor O'Brien argues that Bede's understanding of the temple was part of the shared spirituality and communal discourse of his monastery at Wearmouth-Jarrow, in particular as revealed in the great illuminated Bible made there: the Codex Amiatinus. Studying the temple in Bede's works reveals not just an individual genius, but a monastic community engaged actively in scriptural interpretation and religious reflection. O'Brien makes an important contribution to our understanding of early Anglo-Saxon England's most important author, the world in which he lived, and the processes that inspired his work.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780198747086
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 12/08/2015
Series: Oxford Theology and Religion Monographs Series
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Conor O'Brien is a Teaching Associate at the University of Sheffield.

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Abbreviations
Chronology of Bede's Works
1. Introduction
2. Bede's Temple in its Intellectual Context
3. Bede's Temple as History
4. Bede's Temple as Cosmos
5. Bede's Temple as the Body of Christ
6. Bede's Temple as Church
7. Bede's Temple as Individual
8. Building Bede's Temple

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