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Irish Catholic Identities$
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Oliver P. Rafferty

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719097317

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719097317.001.0001

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Gaelic and Catholic in the early middle ages

Gaelic and Catholic in the early middle ages

(p.21) 1 Gaelic and Catholic in the early middle ages
Irish Catholic Identities

Bernhard Maier

Manchester University Press

The chapter outlines the salient features of early Irish ecclesiastical organisation. Some characteristic forms of liturgy, piety and devotion are indicated. Among the issues addressed is the relationship between pagan past and Christian present in early medieval Ireland. This is an essential factor not only for the grafting of the new religion onto forms of Celtic thought and culture, but also for how in later centuries the Irish would look to their ‘Celtic past’ for a sense of themselves. Some consideration is given to the Irish contribution to the Christianisation of north Britain and areas of mainland continental Europe. It also raises the question of whether or not there was a distinctively Celtic form of Christianity. Finally, the chapter explores the issue of the formative influences of this early period on the post-Norman developments in Irish religion, society and identity.

Keywords:   Celtic-Christianity paganism medieval-developments piety

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