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10 Creating an Irish Identity: Print, Culture, and the Irish Franciscans of Louvain

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Chapter Summary

It is argued in this essay that the Gaelic print initiative at the Irish Franciscan college at Louvain was a critical factor in the construction and articulation of a seamless Gaelic Irish and Catholic identity in the early decades of the seventeenth century. In contrast, the publication of a Protestant Gaelic translation of the New Testament in Dublin in 1602 was considerably less successful in its putative cultural legitimation of the established church’s status and role in Gaelic Ireland. It is suggested that a former Gaelic praise poet and Franciscan friar at Louvain, Bonaventura Ó hEódhusa, was especially influential in the deployment of cultural tradition and print technology to promulgate a potent amalgam of faith and cultural identity whose ideological resonances have endured over ensuing centuries.



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