Faculty Seminar Advisor

Patricia Goldsworthy-Bishop

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

History

Document Type

Paper

Publication Date

Spring 2016

Abstract

The conversion process of Ireland resulted in a culture that reflected both its pagan, Celtic roots and the new Christian ontology. From the fifth to ninth century, Ireland’s learned elite began to be converted to Christianity and created the early monastic settlements that shaped how Christianity was introduced. The interactions between the early Irish monastic founders and the pre-Christian Irish influenced the ways in which early monasteries were established and why Christianity was introduced the way it was. By establishing the Christian faith on the basis of Irish learning, the early church worked with the learned men to establish a written vernacular language and develop an education system. This paper explores the way in which those education centers produced Irish myths, hagiographies and illuminated manuscripts, preserving the pre-Christian past within the Christian era. Ultimately, the two cultures adapted to each other, through varying levels of incorporation regarding different aspects of society, creating a culture which was both Christian and native to Ireland.

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