How did the Anglo-Saxons conceptualize the interim between death and Doomsday? In this book, Ananya Jahanara Kabir presents an investigation into the Anglo-Saxon belief in the 'interim paradise': paradise as a temporary abode for good souls following death and pending the final decisions of Doomsday. She locates the origins of this distinctive sense of paradise within early Christian polemics, establishes its Anglo-Saxon development as a site of contestation and compromise, and argues for its post-Conquest transformation into the doctrine of purgatory. In ranging across Old English prose and poetry as well as Latin apocrypha, exegesis, liturgy, prayers and visions of the otherworld, and combining literary criticism with recent scholarship in early medieval history, early Christian theology and history of ideas, this book is essential reading for scholars of Anglo-Saxon England, historians of Christianity, and all those interested in the impact of the Anglo-Saxon period on the later Middle Ages.

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