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Leuven, the new Donegal, twinned with Prague and Rome

Structure de recherche associée à la MRSH : ERIBIA
Enregistré le : 17/06/2021 - Durée : 17mn13s - Réalisation : Université Caen Normandie
Lieu : En visioconférence

Prof Mícheál Mac Craith is a Franciscan priest who lectured in Modern Irish at the National University of Ireland, Galway from 1977 until his retirement in August 2011. From 1997 until his retirement, he held the established chair of Modern Irish. He studied in Galway, Rome and Louvain. He authored and co-authored books on Gaelic poetry. He is interested in the Renaissance, Counter-Reformation literature, Irish communities in exile in the early modern period, Jacobitism, Ossianism and contemporary Gaelic literature, and has published extensively in these areas. In 1997 he was awarded a Visiting Fellowship in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. In 2003 he was Visiting Fellow at St Edmund’s College Cambridge and Associate Research Fellow at the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge. In 2008 the Irish Research Council in the Humanities and Social Sciences awarded him a Senior Research Fellowship to investigate the period spent by the exiled earls, O’ Neill and O’ Donnell, in Rome. In 2011 he was appointed Guardian of Collegio S. Isidoro in Rome for six years. Since September 2017 he is resident in the Franciscan House of Studies, Dún Mhuire, Killiney, Co. Dublin. During the Fall Semester 2018 he was Visiting Naughton Fellow at the Keough Naughton Centre of Irish Studies, University of Notre Dame.

Abstract

Donatus Mooney was appointed first guardian of St. Anthony’s Irish Franciscan College, Leuven in 1607. As provincial in 1618, he described this foundation as the one remedy for saving the province. Fondly remembering his novitiate days in Donegal, he lamented that friary’s destruction. ‘But through God’s providence, Philip III, King of Spain, has granted the Irish friars of the College of St. Anthony, at Louvain, with a certain allowance for our support.’ In addition to their primary role of training Franciscan priests, the Leuven friars undertook research in Irish hagiography and the production of catechetical works in the vernacular. This hagiographical project, brought to fruition in Leuven, had already been initiated in Donegal’s house of refuge after the convent's destruction. Both religiously and intellectually Leuven was Donegal redivivus. Two more colleges were founded in Rome (1625) and Prague (1629). All three institutions were ardent advocates of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, a cause equally championed by the Hapsburg dynasty and the Franciscan order. John Duns Scotus, the first promoter of this doctrine, was held, however erroneously, to be of Irish origin, thus giving the Irish friars patriotic as well as religious motives for engaging with Scotism. St. Isidore’s in Rome became the leading European centre for Scotistic studies in the 17th century, while the college in Prague, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, introduced Scotism to central Europe.

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