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Title: Ancient Israelites and Barbarian kingdoms : the influence of the Old Testament in the Early Middle Ages
Author: Houston, Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 5787
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis originated from a desire to understand why Christians in the Middle Ages condoned religious violence, and how the use of force became an acceptable tool in the armoury of the Church to further its cause. Political and financial motivations aside, 1 argue that the Old Testament played a key role in the shaping of medieval thought to the point where acts of Christian violence were understood as the will of God. 1 aim to address four primary questions. In what ways did the Old Testament grow in popularity throughout the Early Middle Ages? Was there a uniformity of Old Testament influence across the main Christian kingdoms? How was the Old Testament used by Christian writers to elucidate God’s plan for the world? And lastly, how was Scripture used to add meaning to the lives of those who treasured it? The thesis shows, through a range of texts and examples, that the influence of the Old Testament was partly linked to the growth of monasticism. Early monks displayed a preference for the Hebrew Scriptures, and as monasticism spread across Europe, becoming widely popular and fashionable, so did the Old Testament. This process was encouraged by Church leaders who believed that God desired to establish a universal Christian State, acting through medieval kings and emperors who had embraced the Christian faith. Such powers, whose history and culture were steeped in warfare, identified easily with a Yahwistic view of God, one that promised divine protection in return for faithfulness. The thesis provides a deeper investigation of the connection between monasticism and the promotion of Old Testament values in the Middle Ages, and illustrates how the recurrence of Old Testament themes throughout medieval literature helped to breed a culture of Christian violence that would eventually lead to the Crusades.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available