Exploring the Depth and Beauty of Anglo-Saxon Literature
In many places, medieval open fields and common rights over pasture preserved long-standing traditions for organising community assets. In central, southern England, a negotiated compromise between early medieval lords eager to introduce new managerial structures and communities as keen to retain their customary traditions of landscape organisation underpinned the emergence of nucleated settlements and distinctive, highly-regulated open fields.
Notes Bibliography Index.
Overall, this book presents a novel hypothesis. This is an important contribution to the study of this period. You can unsubscribe from newsletters at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in any newsletter.
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In their teaching, authors convert abstract theology into concrete motifs reflecting this liminality, such as the gates of heaven and Christ's footprints. By examining a range of liminal imagery, Between earth and heaven demonstrates the consistent sophistication and unity of Ascension theology in such diverse sources as Latin and Old English homilies, religious poetry, liturgical practices, and lay popular beliefs and rituals.
This study not only refines our evaluation of Anglo-Saxon authors' knowledge of patristic theology and their process of source adaptation, but also offers a new understanding of the methods of religious instruction and uses of religious texts in Anglo-Saxon England, capturing their lived significance to contemporary audiences.
The book demonstrates the intelligent potential of source study and is, I think, most original when it moves to encompass interdisciplinary materials and the study of popular religious practices. Obviously the fruit of deep contemplation on the topic, as well as wide reading and research, Kramer's book is certainly the definitive study on this subject, and it is also a model for how other investigations of this sort on other Anglo-Saxon or early medieval theological topics could be conducted and organized.
Despite its deceptively narrow focus on a single liturgical occasion, it has interesting and important things to say about an exceptionally wide range of genres. In terms of literary material, Kramer analyzes both poetry and prose, including homilies, hymns and charms, well-known texts and rarities, chronologically ranging from the eighth century to the twelfth, with coverage also of the Biblical and patristic backgrounds. Kramer's Between Earth and Heaven is an exemplary specimen of this tradition.
The Anglo-Saxon World: An Anthology
It expertly straddles the line between literature and theology, shows an excellent understanding of its Latin and Old English sources, makes cautious but generally compelling inferences about the popular practice of religion, and adduces evidence in support of its thesis from the visual arts. Composed in an eloquent prose that never distracts from its message, Between Earth and Heaven is a valuable contribution to the field both for its original insights and as a proof of method.
Kramer has made an important contribution to the study of Anglo-Saxon literature and its role in transmitting belief, not only through her persuasive arguments, but also through her methodology and emphasis on lived religion, crossing over the artificial boundaries of period and genre. By articulating the rhetorical and theological values inherent in these texts, Kramer suggests the ways in which we might better reflect the interdisciplinary, nonhierarchical, genre-crossing practices of Anglo-Saxon peoples, advocating a scholarly methodology that embraces the liminal.
Between Earth and Heaven makes a useful contribution to the field, particularly by demonstrating the value of reading across genres to gain a more complete picture of Anglo-Saxon attitudes. It will no doubt be widely read and often cited in the years to come, and will be particularly welcome to anyone interested in the influence and development of patristic theology and the history of religious observance in Anglo-Saxon England.
Introduction 1. Biblical sources, patristic authorities, and the development of Ascension theology 2.
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