The devotional landscape of medieval
Irish culturalCatholicism inter hibernicos
et inter anglicos, c.1200–c.1550
In his 1985 survey entitled The Irish Catholic Experience, Patrick J.
Corish points to ‘the complexity of the patterns of culture in which
Christianity existed in Ireland in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries,
while noting that the source material allows little more than an impressionistic survey of what was distinctive about the Christian religion inter
hibernicos as against its equivalent inter anglicos.1 Difficulties arising
Identity is contingent and dynamic, constituting and reconstituting subjects with political effects. This book explores the implications of Protestant and 'British' incursions for the development of Irish Catholic identity as preserved in Irish language texts from the early modern period until the end of Stuart pretensions. Questions of citizenship, belonging, migration, conflict, security, peace and subjectivity are examined through social construction, post-colonialism, and gendered lenses from an interdisciplinary perspective. The book explains the issue of cultural Catholicism in the later middle ages, by way of devotional cults and practices. It examines Catholic unionism vis-a-vis Victorian politics, military and imperial service, the crown, and the position of the Catholic Church with relation to the structures of the state in Ireland. In particular the North American experience and especially the importance of the USA for consolidating a particular interpretation of Irish Catholic nationalist identity, is explored. Children studied in English Catholic public schools like Stonyhurst and Downside where the establishment Irish Catholics and rising mercantile classes sought to have the characteristics of the Catholic gentleman instilled in their progeny. The book sets out to detect the voices of those Catholic women who managed to make themselves heard by a wider audience than family and friends in Ireland in the years between the Act of Union of 1800 and independence/partition. It considers what devotional interests both Gaelic Irish and Anglo-Norman actually shared in common as part of a wider late medieval Catholic culture.
his freedom with miraculously found
gold, thus preserving church practice in regard to the manumission of
slaves. For some offences against church personnel Irish canon law
stipulated the payment by the offender of female slaves who, as the
Annals make clear, were often used for sexual purposes by their masters. Whatever about the absence of saintliness in the early medieval
Irish Church, Ó Corráin is convinced that its reputation for scholarship
is securely grounded.
In Chapter 3, Salvador Ryan examines the issue of culturalCatholicism
in the later middle ages (c
economic, social and cultural changes of the postwar period. Touching upon issues of family cohesiveness, the socialisation
of the young in the faith, liturgical adaptations, ecumenical and inter-faith
rapprochement, and a ‘culturalCatholicism’ that might not be ‘dead dead
religious’ or manifested by ‘going to church a lot’, the reflections of these
ordinary Mancunian Catholics illustrate the shifts, both at an institutional
level and amongst the laity, in the modes of expression and agreed forms for
mediation of a Catholic identity towards the end of the century.
inform the consciences and
expand the limits of how people perceive the world’.38 Thus in one way
or another, as one looks to the future, there would indeed seem to be
firm grounds to support the view that Irish Catholic identity, as opposed
to a vague culturalCatholicism, is in jeopardy.
The move to a more individualistic morality was evident in the Celtic
Tiger era neo-liberal economic policies of successive Fianna Fáil led (but
Contemporary expressions of Catholic and Irish identity
Progressive Democrat driven) governments, leaving us with the wrecked
’s conceptualisation of order, for it seemed to overlap so very distinctly with his own culturalCatholicism. Indeed, its emphasis on political order and the absence of themes such as divine purpose and meaning lend credence to Barrès’s interpretation, even if later on Bourget demonstrates a far more supernatural understanding of human conduct and society. In 1903 when L’Etape was published, however, Bourget was a very recent convert.
The ambiguity we have noted in Bourget can be found also in Catholicism