USF professor Dr. John P. Bequette releases book, ‘Bede the Theologian’

September 23, 2022

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Professor of Theology Dr. John P. Bequette began intensive study of early Christian scholar Bede in 2005. Seventeen years later, Bequette shares the fruits of his researching labor in a new book, “Bede the Theologian: History, Rhetoric, and Spirituality.”

Bequette, in his 17th year as a University of Saint Francis professor, wrote or edited five previous books, but calls his Bede examination the most satisfying, well-written and well-researched of his writing career.

Bede (672-735) is known as a historian for his “Ecclesiastical History of the English People,” but also as a pedagogue, hagiographer and biblical scholar.

“What I discovered anew was Bede’s own sense of his indebtedness to the Church’s fathers,” Bequette said. “We typically think of the Church fathers as being from the second century to the fifth century—St.  Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, St. Gregory and others. Bede liked to use the phrase, ‘Following in the footsteps of the fathers.’ He was one who thought along the same lines as the Church fathers and was indebted to them but had his own creative input. You could arguably refer to Bede as one of the later fathers—it’s like he’s conversing with them, like they’re his colleagues.”

“Bede the Theologian” concentrates on Bede’s primary writings, while touching on his life as it informs his writing. Bequette said he wanted to write a book that introduces readers to Bede’s thoughts in terms of key themes.

“I hope it sparks a broader interest in Bede, his thinking and his contributions,” Bequette said. “He has been the object of specialists for about 100 years. I’d like to see his appeal extend beyond that of specialists.”

Bequette also wrote “Christian Friendship: Engaging the Tradition, Transforming the Culture,” “Christian Humanism: Creation, Redemption, and Reintegration,” “Rhetoric in the Monastic Tradition: A Textual Study” and “The Eloquence of Sanctity: Rhetoric in Thomas Celano’s Vita Prima Sancti Francisci.” He served as editor for “A Companion to Medieval Christian Humanism: Essays on Principal Thinkers.”

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Bequette and his wife, Nancy, have six children.

“I would like to see more interest in Bede as one of the seminal thinkers in the Christian tradition, and an appreciation of him in that respect,” Bequette said.

Media interested in interviewing Bequette about his new book may contact him at 260-399-7700, ext. 8122 or [email protected].

Founded in 1890 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, the University of Saint Francis offers more than 60 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs through the College of Health Sciences and the College of Arts, Sciences and Business. In addition to its traditional programs, USF designs focused curricula for working adults in Fort Wayne, Crown Point and online. USF Downtown houses the music technology and graduate health sciences programs while offering enhanced internship and networking opportunities for students. The University of Saint Francis, recognized as an NAIA Five-Star Champion of Character institution, has 18 athletic programs boasting two individual and four team NAIA national championships. Approximately 2,200 students from a broad geographic region attend USF.