Edmund Rice (1762-1844) and the genesis of a religious congregation

Keogh, Daire (2007) Edmund Rice (1762-1844) and the genesis of a religious congregation. MTh(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the genesis of the Irish Christian Brothers. It seeks to place them in their historical context and to understand them as they understood themselves. The Brothers emerged at a dynamic period in the history of the Irish Church. The last quarter of the eighteenth-century had brought a relaxation in the penal laws which allowed the Catholic church to emerge from the 'catacombs', thus facilitating its transition from a mission to a church. This thesis charts the role of the Brothers in that context; not simply as agents of change, but as individuals effected by the spirit of the age. It aims, also, to illustrate the complexity of the penal era. Long understood as a century of unrelenting and uniform persecution, the Catholic experience in the period (1691-1829) is now represented as one of 'endurance and emergence' in which Catholics adapted creatively to the challenges and opportunities of the age. It will demonstrate the character of eighteenth- century Irish Catholicism and the difficulties which reform minded prelates faced in their attempts to introduce the practices and devotions associated with the Council of Trent. It demonstrates, too, the extent to which Rice's two congregations were animated by the piety and theology of early-modern Catholicism. This spirituality was embodied in the Rules and Constitutions of the congregations and the Brothers strove to transform Irish society in that spirit. The Brothers' ultimate aim was not simply the provision of education, but a special kind of Catholic education. They attempted to evangelise the unchurched urban poor and to introduce them to the new devotions of the age. In so doing they contributed greatly to the confident and assertive character of nineteenth-century Irish Catholicism.

Item Type: Thesis (MTh(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: Ian P Hazlett
Keywords: Religious history
Date of Award: 2007
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2007-71877
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 17 May 2019 09:31
Last Modified: 17 May 2019 09:31
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/71877

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