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Sacred HistoryUses of the Christian Past in the Renaissance World$
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Katherine Van Liere, Simon Ditchfield, and Howard Louthan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199594795

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199594795.001.0001

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Reconstructing Irish Catholic History after the Reformation

Reconstructing Irish Catholic History after the Reformation

(p.186) 9 Reconstructing Irish Catholic History after the Reformation
Sacred History

Salvador Ryan

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the efforts made by Irish Catholic writers of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to reconstruct the history of the Irish Christian past. This was undertaken both to counteract the claims of some reformers that early Irish Christianity was proto-Protestant in character and also to construct a workable Irish Catholic identity for the seventeenth century that would incorporate the historical narratives of both Old English and Gaelic Irish communities who now sought common cause against increasing waves of mostly Protestant settlers. In charting their way through a changing political and cultural landscape, Irish Catholic writers, both at home and on the Continent, would attempt to bring to bear on their polemical works the standards of Renaissance humanist scholarship to forge such an identity. In doing so, they also fully participated in the renewal of ecclesiastical history that was a feature of Reformation Europe.

Keywords:   Gaelic Irish, Old English, Irish Catholic, ecclesiastical history, Renaissance humanism, Reformation, Christian past

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