Culture, Contention and Identity in Seve


Culture, Contention and Identity in Seve | 9781782055075 | Giacomo Fedeli

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Published:07/10/2022 by Cork University Press


This is the first English translation of an important 17th century contention between two Irish clerics. The detail uncovered reveals much about Gaelic Irish culture and society at this turbulent period in Irish history. The two clerics, Antonius Bruodinus and Thomas Carve, present an image of Ireland that was split between native Gaelic and Old English culture and the influence of these two cultures on competing views about Ireland’s past. The seventeenth century was a period of turmoil and upheaval in Ireland. The politics of religious identity were visceral, giving rise to controversies and bitter clashes. In 1671 the Irish Franciscan, Antonius Bruodinus (Antoin Mac Bruideadha; b. 1625, Clare – 7 May 1680 ?Prague), a former pupil of Luke Wadding in Rome, published Anatomicum Examen Enchiridii Apologetici, refuting the slanderous statements made by Fr Thomas Carve (‘Carew’, b. Tipperary, 1590; d.c. 1672), from a family of Old-English allegiance whose other work contains much of value on the Thirty Years War, he having been chaplain to Irish regiments in Europe. The intense exchange of views went to the core of many of the vexed controversies regarding identity, authority and legitimacy which characterised the debates of the time. This is the first time that one of the main works has been translated into English and treated to a detailed examination. In Culture, Contention and Identity in seventeenth century Ireland, the editors provide a helpful apparatus to guide the modern reader through a myriad of arguments and retorts by the two protagonists, which reveal much information about life and politics in seventeenth-century Ireland. The book, which provides a critical edition of the text with facing translation, sheds new light on the viewpoints of Gaelic-Irish and Old-English alike, as well as the impact of the Cromwellian invasion on the country. In translating this heated exchange between the two clerics we come closer to grasping some of the pressing issues troubling Ireland’s population at the time. Much new detail can be harvested concerning the activities of learned Gaelic families, Irish marriage customs, place names and much else besides in seventeenth-century Ireland. The writings of these two clerics also provide a fascinating portrait of Irish clerics and their emigre networks at a time when the two traditions, which each claimed to represent – Gaelic-Irish and Old-English – were being supplanted by a different elite in Ireland, the New English.

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