Thursday, May 15, 2008

Biblical Exegesis in Surprising Places

A few weeks ago over on Homilaria, Derek had a post on the interpretation of scripture in the liturgy. I intimated in the comments that surprising places of exegesis occur elsewhere too. One of those places is the plethora of "biblical literature" that occurs throughout late antiquity and the middle ages. I have a post on that in the works, well, it may never get done since its the topic of a book of essays I'm collecting and editing with Norb Wethington and we need to get this project D-O-N-E, so a lengthy post on the topic will probably have to wait.

In the meantime however I offer my Congress Paper of 2008. It is as it was read and was written to be read (I do try to take into account that I have an audience who is LISTENING when I write these things) and so has no footnotes etc and repeats key points.

For those who want the precis, I argue that Aelfric of Eynsham's biblical exegesis as presented in texts and letters where he is being the most original and least dependent on Latin sources reveals the influence of Old English poetry, in the case of this paper Cynewulf's Fates of the Apostles and Daniel. In the chapter from which this comes in the ol' dissertation I argue that he also knew Genesis A and B, Exodus, and Judith.

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