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HB-288327-23Research Programs: Awards for FacultyStephen Chase Evans HopkinsHell, Translation, and Identity in the Middle Ages1/1/2024 - 12/31/2024$60,000.00StephenChase EvansHopkins   University of Central Florida Board of TrusteesOrlandoFL32816-8005USA2022Medieval StudiesAwards for FacultyResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing to complete a book on the literary function of hell in early medieval translations of apocryphal texts in the British Isles and Scandinavia.

In the Middle Ages, hell was a useful literary space because it was only vaguely defined in scripture, leaving space for imagination and room to establish the boundaries of Christian belonging. This book tells the story of how hell was used in the medieval North Sea to experiment with theology and identity. Examining vernacular translations of two key apocryphal hell texts, the book argues that they were popular experimental sites because of their liminal textual authority. Since apocrypha are noncanonical scriptures, the genre allowed medieval writers flexibility to revise their hells, while also inviting later readers to revere those experiments as valid since they seemed like scripture. The book compares vernacular theologies of the North Sea, highlighting Northern European contributions to hell's evolution.