Chapter

The Millennium, Time, and History for the Anglo-Saxons

Malcolm Godden

in The Apocalyptic Year 1000

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780195161625
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849666 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161625.003.0009
The Millennium, Time, and History for the Anglo-Saxons

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The imminence of the end of the world is one of the most important themes for Anglo-Saxon writers in the decades surrounding the year 1000. Aelfric proclaims it as the context for his first great collection of homilies around the year 990, and for Wulfstan it is the central focus of his earliest homilies and for his last and most famous, the Sermo ad anglos. Anglo-Saxon writers were acutely aware that when they proclaimed the imminent end they were doing so on the basis of texts that had been used for a similar purpose repeatedly over the last thousand years and more. It was perhaps a unique situation in which the failures and inaccuracies of past exegesis were crucially apparent: just as the early Fathers could look back at the disciples and remark how mistakenly they had interpreted Christ's words when they took him to be prophesying the imminent establishment of the kingdom of God.

Keywords: God; homilies; imminence; end of the world; Anglo-Saxon; writers; year 1000; Aelfric; Wulfstan; Christ

Chapter.  13724 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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