Oisín Ó Ruacháinn
Concepts of Violence in the Early and High Medieval Irish Church
Supervised by Dr Iain MacInnes, Dr Oisín Plumb and Professor David Worthington
There may have existed an ecclesiastical necessity for early Irish monks to commit violence or participate in violence, including an accepted norm that the highest form of the holy orders, sainthood, was justified in committing 'just' violence. In the same period, there is evidence of dogmatic approaches by the Early and High Medieval Irish Church towards pacifism, as well as evidence of extreme forms of pacifism in the face of violence, to the extent of what may be deemed institutionalized ‘anti-violence’. The purpose of the thesis is to understand how acceptable, even lauded, violence and expectations of extreme pacifism coexisted in the same time and place, i.e., in the Early and High Medieval Irish Church.