Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Allegorizing History: The Venerable Bede, Figural Exegesis and Historical Theory

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Allegorizing History: The Venerable Bede, Figural Exegesis and Historical Theory

Article excerpt

BRIEF NOTICE Furry, Timothy J. Allegorizing History: The Venerable Bede, Figurai Exegesis and Historical Theory. (Cambridge, UK: James Clarke. 2014. Pp. xi, 162. S39.00 paperback. ISBN 978-0-227-17424-1.)

In this short book for theologians Timothy J. Furry seeks to see "what kind of theology [the Historia] is" (p. 141, emphasis in original). In chapter 1, "(Renaming History: A Contemporary Historiography of Bede's Historia," Furry surveys a selection of twentieth-century interpreters with special attention to how they deal with the contradictory or paradoxical juxtaposition in Bede's Historia of facts and miracles as we understand them: how can Bede be both intelligible in modern terms yet supply many narratives of supernatural occurrences? Furry privileges the discussions of Charles W. Jones and Jan Davidse, and dwells on Bede's invocation of a, or the, vera lex historiae.

In chapter 2, "Can History Be Figurai?," Furry analyzes the Historia alongside the biblical commentary De Templo, which Bede was writing at the same time. He concludes that "Bede chooses not to make figurai [or allegorical] connections between the bible and the history he recounts" (p. 10).

In chapter 3, "Interpreting Genesis," Furry compares Bede and St. …

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