Bede (c. 673-735) was the leading intellectual figure of the Anglo-Saxon Church, and his writings had a profound influence on the development of English Christian thought. Among the many issues he wrote about, eschatology - the study of the day of judgment and the end of time - was a recurring theme. Whilst recent research has furthered our knowledge of this subject in the later Middle Ages, Dr Darby's book provides the first comprehensive analysis of Bede's eschatological thought and its impact upon the Anglo-Saxon period. Taking account of Bede's beliefs about the end of time, this book offers sophisticated insights into his life, his works and the role that eschatological thought played in Anglo-Saxon society. Close attention is given to the historical setting of each source text consulted, and original insights are advanced regarding the chronological sequence of Bede's writings. The book reveals that Bede's ideas about time changed over the course of his career, and it shows how Bede established himself as the foremost expert in eschatology of his age. The eight chapters of this book are organised into three main thematic groups: the world ages framework, Bede's eschatological vision and Bede's eschatological perspective. It will be of interest to those studying early medieval history, theology or literature as well as anyone with a particular interest in Bede and Anglo-Saxon England.
Dr Peter Darby, University of Leicester, UK
Shortlisted for the Royal Historical Society's Whitfield Prize 2012 'Specialists and nonspecialists will appreciate Darby’s lucid presentation of Bede’s eschatological themes and their development.' Reviewed by George Hardin Brown in Speculum 'The consistent and systematic manner in which he [Darby] has demonstrated Bede’s intellectual development over the course of his career makes this an invaluable work for established and budding Bede scholars alike.' Peritia, Journal of the Medieval Academy of Ireland 'This is a detailed and careful study that is well worth reading. It offers a fine introduction to Bede's computistical writings, while presenting the first exhaustive treatment of a theme which clearly fascinated and compelled Bede and dictated much that he wrote. But it is also perceptive in its reading of the commentaries, homilies, histories, indeed the whole of the Bedan corpus, and successful in its treatment of Bede as a serious intellect and engaged polemicist who was deeply immersed in, or better did much to construct, the theological thought of his time.' The Medieval Review 'Bede and the End of Time is a necessary and valuable contribution to studies of Bede and of medieval eschatology. In particular, Darby’s methodological approach will prove useful for future research into the construction and development of Bede’s ideas across all his works.' Parergon 'This book is well-written and clearly argued. Darby does an excellent job of defining terms that are often incorrectly used interchangeably in more popular works on the end times to ensure that the reader better understands the thrust of his arguments... This book should be of interest to scholars of Bede as well as early medieval church history and is highly recommended.' Anglican & Episcopal History 'Darby cogently and adeptly explores the real-world context and the catalysts which lay behind the evolution of Bede’s ideas... Darby’s analysis is insightful and thought-provoking,