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Religion and Spirituality

Texts for discussion:

The Dream of the Rood
Christ and Satan
The Phoenix
Cherniss, Michael D. "The Cross as Christ's Weapon: The Influence of Heroic Literary Tradition on the Dream of the Rood." Anglo-Saxon England 2 (1973): 241-52.
Dockray-Miller, Mary. "The Feminized Cross of the Dream of the Rood." Philological Quarterly 76 (1997): 1-18.

Further Old English texts:

The Blickling Homilies (print edition: ed. and trans. Richard J. Kelly, 1993)

Secondary reading:

Anderson, Earl R. "Liturgical influence on The Dream of the Rood." Neophilologus 73 (1989).
Blair, John. The Church in Anglo-Saxon society. (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.)
Danet, Brenda, and Bryna Bogoch. "'Whoever Alters This, May God Turn His Face From Him on the Day of Judgment' Curses in Anglo-Saxon Legal Documents." The Journal of American Folklore 105:132-165. (1992)
Raw, Barbara C. Anglo-Saxon crucifixion iconography and the art of the monastic revival. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.)

Assignment Questions:

Using The Dream of the Rood and any other resources, write an essay on one of the following questions:

1. 'God is the Judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another' (1662 BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER). Discuss the treatment of Judgement in ONE OR MORE texts.
2. 'The religious dimension of Old English poetry resides in the way the mundane asserts itself as part of a Christian system of symbols' (PATRICK W. CONNER). Discuss.
3. 'Order and disorder, known and unknown, conventional regularity and the incident that defies regularity, are tightly and innately bound together; they are functions of each other and necessarily interdependent' (ROY WAGNER). Discuss the miraculous, visionary AND/OR otherworldly in ONE OR MORE Old English text(s) in the light of this comment.