IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 1703: Theology and Liturgy in Early Medieval Britain

Thursday 4 July 2013, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:Máirín MacCarron, Department of History, National University of Ireland, Galway
Paper 1703-aRome Burns Brightly Still: Contextualising Gildas's De excidio Britanniae
(Language: English)
Stephen Joyce, Centre for Studies in Religion & Theology, Monash University, Victoria
Index terms: Biblical Studies, Historiography - Medieval
Paper 1703-bReassessing Bede's De locis sanctis: New Discoveries in the Christian Topography of Early Islamic Jerusalem
(Language: English)
Rodney Aist, Independent Scholar, Milano
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Monasticism, Theology
Paper 1703-cThe Date of Bishop Wilfrid's Death
(Language: English)
Masako Ohashi, Nanzan University, Nagoya
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Liturgy, Theology

Paper -a:
Gildas’s De Excidio Britanniae (DEB) is one of the few texts to survive ‘Dark Age’ Britain, and its context is significant in constructing a narrative for 5th- and 6th-century Britain. This paper will seek to identify Gildas’s DEB as a call to reestablish Romano-British identity within the context of romanitas and a continental struggle between Catholic and Arian aristocracies, shaped in a biblical prophetic tradition. It will argue that Gildas’s educational background and patristic influences suggest a context not of the 6th century, as traditionally believed, but within the later 5th century.

Paper -b:
Line-by-line textual analyses of Bede’s De locis sanctis have long revealed his two-fold dependency upon the works of Adomnán of Iona and Eucherius of Lyons, while the accepted view, which Bede himself encourages, has been to see the work as an epitome of Adomnán’s De locis sanctis. However, these analyses have been literary rather than substantive in nature, and Bede’s work has never been analyzed in terms of the topography and image of Jerusalem described by the two aforementioned scholars. In light of new discoveries in the Christian topography of Early Jerusalem, which has allowed Adomnán’s image of Jerusalem to be understood for the first time, we can now make a similar assessment of Bede. In short, despite his literary and scholarly tribute to Adomnán, Bede consistently favors Eucherius over Adomnán with respect to the image and content of the city of Jerusalem, challenging the long held assumption that Bede’s De locis sanctis is an epitome of Adomnán’s work.

Paper -c:
Bishop Wilfrid of York, known as a champion of the ‘Roman’ party at the Synod of Whitby (664), finished his checkered career in the early 8th century. There are two dates associated with his death, 12th October 709 and 24th April 710. This paper will investigate the background to the controversial dates, which would shed light on the circumstances of the Paschal Controversy in early Medieval Northumbria.