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Obviously, there are innumerable ways to approach and to teach Bede. If
you're interested in the historiographical approach, I'd recommend not
only Roger Ray, but also an essay by Jan Davidse, "The Sense of History
in the Works of the Venerable Bede," Studi Medievali 23 (1982): 647-95.
The opening section offers a wonderful precis of the field. I hesitate
to recommend it, but I cover the field of Bedan historiography generally
in the opening section of my "Bede, Social Practice, and the problem
with Foreigners," Essays in Medieval Studies  13 (1996): 97-109. In
short, there are two distinct lines of inquiry: one that seeks to
recover the actual facts of the migration described in the opening
chapters of the Historia Ecclesiastica, the other which attempts to
reconstruct the rhetorical aims of Bede's narrative.

Another approach might be to discuss the ethnic assumptions involved in
the first 27 chapters of Book One of the HE. Here, Bede divides the
inhabitants of Britain as Genesis does, by their tongues and tribes.
Currently, the debate surrounding these ethnic identities rages around
actual and rhetorical composition of the tribes in Britain. Walter
Goffart seeks generally for the former, the Vienna School of
ethnogenesis (i.e., Herwig Wolfram and Walter Pohl, especially) for the
latter. Much of this debate involves the use of ethnic history for
ulterior political, social, and religious purposes. For example, Bede
was used during the sixteenth century to validate English claims for a
distinct church. Much of the racial presuppositions of early- and
mid-twentieth-century history find their expression in the Germanist
approach (discussed by Eric John among others) to English history, an
approach which finds much of its confirmation in the tribal divisions of
Bede's HE.

And, of course, there's Bede Net! You'll find these works listed in the
bibliography there: http://www.bede.net

Hope this is of some help,

Stephen





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