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Durham University

Department of History


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Publication details

2010 Foxhall Forbes, Helen '“Diuiduntur in quattuor” the Interim and Judgement in Anglo-Saxon England', The Journal of Theological Studies 61, pp. 659-684

Author(s) from Durham


The division of souls in the afterlife into groups of three or four can be found in the works of many patristic and medieval authors, drawing on a number of traditions about the fate of the soul in the interim and at judgement. These groupings have often been the subject of confusion, not least because it is sometimes difficult to ascertain whether descriptions of the various groups of souls are intended to refer to the interim or to the judgement. This paper seeks to clarify and explore some of these divisions as they were discussed in Anglo-Saxon England: first in vision accounts by two eighth-century authors, Boniface, a missionary to the Continent, and the Venerable Bede; and secondly in the works of two later authors, Ælfric of Eynsham in the tenth century and Goscelin of Saint-Bertin in the eleventh.

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