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Other research product . 2013

Did the English really think they were God’s elect in the Anglo-Saxon period?

George Molyneaux;
Published: 01 Jan 2013
Country: United Kingdom

This article challenges the contention that during the Anglo-Saxon period the English considered themselves God's specially chosen people, like the Old Testament Israelites. The texts upon which this interpretation has been based are re-analysed; particular attention is devoted to the writings of Gildas, Bede, Alcuin and Wulfstan, the prose preface of the Old English ‘Pastoral care’, and the introduction to King Alfred's legislation. The English could see themselves as a Christian people, and thus among God's chosen, but they do not appear to have claimed to be the beneficiaries of a more particularist form of divine election.



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