TitleMedieval Theology and the Modern Historian
Date/TimeTuesday 4 July 2017: 14.15-15.45
OrganiserConor O'Brien, Department of History, King's College London
Moderator/ChairMayke de Jong, Utrecht Centre for Medieval Studies, Universiteit Utrecht
Paper 744-a What Did Bede Really Think of Kings?
(Language: English)
Conor O'Brien, Department of History, King's College London
Index Terms: Ecclesiastical History; Language and Literature - Latin; Political Thought; Theology
Paper 744-b The Carolingians, Trinitarian Complexity, and Contemporary Scholarship: Rounding up Some Other Suspects
(Language: English)
Zachary Morgan Guiliano, St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford
Index Terms: Biblical Studies; Language and Literature - Latin; Theology
Paper 744-c A Person without a Soul?: Using Theology to Understand De generatione hominis
(Language: English)
Elaine Flowers, Faculty of Theology & Religion, University of Oxford
Index Terms: Language and Literature - Old English; Medicine; Theology
AbstractHistorians know of the difficulties presented by hagiography, but the challenges posed by other theological sources remain under-examined. This session addresses both how studying medieval theology enriches the understanding of modern historians and some of the problems it raises. O'Brien investigates how Bede's exegetical writings can help reconstruct his views on kingship, challenging the evidence of Bede's most famous work: his Historia ecclesiastica. Guiliano suggests that scholars' association of Charlemagne's reign with the introduction of the 'filioque' into the Nicene Creed obscures sophisticated Carolingian investigation into Trinitarian doctrine. Smith asks whether we can discuss medieval religious controversy without igniting modern religious sensitivities, examining an attempt to discuss the burning of the Talmud in Paris in 1242 in front of a Christian and Jewish audience. Through a case study of the Anglo-Saxon birth prognostic text De generatione hominis, Flowers assesses the opportunities and obstacles that face the historian when using theological works to understand the more puzzling aspects of the medical Middle Ages.