This review originally appeared on the Alan's Eyes & Ears blog:
The Ecclesiastical History of the English People, by The Venerable Bede. Unabridged audio.
I am a sucker for church history, but it took me a while to get around
to reading the most famous piece of church history from the first
The focus is on the Christian history of the British Isles. This has
been a particular interest to me since I ran across the music of the UK-based band Iona
more than 20 years ago. Bede hits the main characters and locals that I
was hoping for, such as Iona, Lindisfarne, Columba, and Columcille.
There are certainly moments of dryness in the accounts, as many of the
people and circumstances have been lost to time (save this book). But
many of the accounts were colorful, and so although some of the
chronologies did not stick with me, many of the stories did. The
relationships between the various British peoples, both with each other
and with the authorities in Rome, form a backbone for the history.
terms of theology, the issue that Bede spends the most time on is the
correct dating for Easter. Although backing the Roman interpretation, he
is gracious to other believers who believe differently.