Paradise, Death and Doomsday in Anglo-Saxon Literature

Paradise, Death and Doomsday in Anglo-Saxon Literature

How did the Anglo-Saxons conceptualise the interim between death and Doomsday? In Paradise, Death and Doomsday in Anglo-Saxon Literature, Dr. Kabir presents the first investigation into the Anglo-Saxon belief in the "interim paradise" or paradise as a temporary abode for good souls following death and pending the final decisions of Doomsday. She determines the origins of this distinctive sense of paradise within early Christian polemics, establishes its Anglo-Saxon development as a site of contestation and compromise, and argues for its post-Conquest transformation into the doctrine of purgatory.


"[Kabir's] methodology (literary analysis and source study) compels her to come to terms with the tensions between popular and learned culture, orthodox, and heterodox belief, as well as oral and literary expression. It is an important book, and provides a richly developed answer to an ostensibly simple question." Catholic Historical Review

"Kabir is wide-ranging in her treatment of sources, yet focused an incisive in her analysis of the material relevant to her thesis. She demonstrates compellingly how and why the three-fold eschatological scheme, which became a doctrine in the thirteenth century, gradually replaced the older fourfold scheme." Catholic Historical Review

"An important and thought-provoking contribution to research on early medieval world-views and patterns of imagination." Zeitschirft fuer Anglistik und Amerikanistik

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