This volume examines the use of the image of the Jewish temple in the writings of the Anglo-Saxon theologian and historian, Bede (d. 735). The various Jewish holy sites described in the Bible possessed multiple different meanings for Bede and therefore this imagery provides an excellent window into his thought.
Bede's Temple: An Image and its Interpretation examines Bede's use of the temple to reveal his ideas of history, the universe, Christ, the Church,and the individual Christian.
Across his wide body of writings Bede presented an image of unity, whether that be the unity of Jew and gentile in the universal Church, or the unity of human and divine in the incarnate Christ, and the temple-image provided a means of understanding and celebrating that unity. Conor O'Brien argues that Bede's understanding of the temple was part of the shared spirituality and communal discourse of his monastery at Wearmouth-Jarrow, in particular as revealed in the great illuminated Bible made there: the Codex Amiatinus.
Studying the temple in Bede's works reveals not just an individual genius, but a monastic community engaged actively in scriptural interpretation and religious reflection.
O'Brien makes an important contribution to our understanding of earlyAnglo-Saxon England's most important author, the world in which he lived, and the processes that inspired his work.