Old English Literature and the Old Testament

Old English Literature and the Old Testament

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Edited by Michael Fox and Manish Sharma
Toronto Anglo-Saxon Series
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2011
World Rights
408 Pages
ISBN 9781442626805
Published Apr 2014
Online discount: 25%
 $36.95    $27.71
ISBN 9780802098542
Published Jan 2012
Online discount: 25%
 $85.00    $63.75
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442620261
Published May 2014
Online discount: 24%
Full purchase $36.95

It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of the Bible in the medieval world. For the Anglo-Saxons, literary culture emerged from sustained and intensive biblical study. Further, at least to judge from the Old English texts which survive, the Old Testament was the primary influence, both in terms of content and modes of interpretation. Though the Old Testament was only partially translated into Old English, recent studies have shown how completely interconnected Anglo-Latin and Old English literary traditions are.

Old English Literature and the Old Testament considers the importance of the Old Testament from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, from comparative to intertextual and historical. Though the essays focus on individual works, authors, or trends, including the Interrogationes Sigewulfi, Genesis A, and Daniel, each ultimately speaks to the vernacular corpus as a whole, suggesting approaches and methodologies for further study.

Michael Fox is an associate professor in the Department of English at the University of Alberta.

Manish Sharma is an associate professor in the Department of English at Concordia University.


PART ONE: The Old Testament and Old English Prose

  1. Ælfric’s Interrogationes Sigewulfi by Michael Fox (University of Alberta)
  2. Ælfric’s Judith by Paul Szarmach (The Medieval Academy of America)
  3. Circumscribing the Text: Views on Circumcision in Old English Literature by Samantha Zacher (Cornell University)

PART TWO: The Old Testament and the Poems of the Junius Manuscript

  1. Genesis A ad litteram by Charles D. Wright (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  2. The Economy of the Word in the Old English Exodus by Manish Sharma (Concordia University)
  3. Daniel and the Dew-Laden Wind: Sources and Structures by Phyllis Portnoy (University of Manitoba)

PART THREE: The Old Testament and Other Poems

  1. Rex regum et Cyninga cyning: “Speaking Hebrew” in Cynewulf’s Elene by Damian Fleming (Indiana University, Purdue University Fort Wayne)
  2. The City as Speaker of the Old Testament in Andreas by Robin Waugh (Wilfrid Laurier University)
  3. “Cyningas sigefæste þurh God”: Contributions from Anglo-Saxon England to Early Advocacy for Óláfr Haraldsson by Russell Poole (University of Western Ontario)
  4. Happiness and the Psalms by Stephen Harris (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
  5. ‘The Old English Kentish Psalm and Polysystems Theory by Jane Toswell (University of Western Ontario)
‘The essays in Old English Literature and the Old Testament admirably advance our knowledge of a wide variety of texts. Some of its chapters significantly challenge prevailing critical approaches, while others examine little-studied works or unusual themes. In sum, much in these pages represents original scholarship by leading experts in the field, whose mastery of and enthusiasm for the materials are evident throughout.’

Christopher A. Jones, Department of English, Ohio State University

Old English Literature and the Old Testament is an excellent collection of essays important for Anglo-Saxon and cultural studies.’

George Hardin Brown, Department of English, Stanford University

‘Highly recommended’

M. Aaij, Choice Magazine; vol 50:01:2012