Atoning for Killing: The Practice and Perception of Penance for Bloodshed Among the Early Medieval Irish (6th-9th Century).
The history of early medieval Ireland (c. 400- c.900). In particular:
- The interaction between religious institutions and secular powers
- Early Irish law and the legal position of women
- The development of early Irish kingship
- Early Irish ‘scientific' texts
This research project will assemble a detailed investigation of the expectations for, and possible applications of, penitential practices among the early medieval Irish, focusing on the issue of bloodshed as a test case, in the hope of clarifying the obscure nature of this ritual. Aside from the Irish Penitentials themselves, hagiographical material, annals, narrative texts, native secular law, synodal decrees, canon law, and various other religious and native texts in Latin and Old-Irish will be examined. This broad range of material will offer both an insight into the Church's ideal of penitential practices, but also ‘real-world' examples of their execution. This project will provide a much needed textual foundation from a broad range of sources for the earliest practices and development of penance in early medieval Ireland.
'"What did it avail him to live virtuously?": Penance, Bloodshed, and the Monastery of Tallaght', Imbas Postgraduate Conference, NUI, Galway (November 2012).
'Penance, Bloodshed, and the Monastery of Tallaght', Penance, Penitential Texts, and Pastoral Care in Early Medieval Ireland Symposium, UCD Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute, Dublin, Ireland (as Invited Speaker, October 2012).
'Killing in the Lives of Brigit, Patrick, and Colum Cille', Irish Conference of Medievalists UCD, Dublin (July 2012).
'Who wrote the Canones Adomnani?', Imbas Postgraduate Conference, NUI, Galway (November 2011).
'Patrick vs. Brigit: Silence on Easter and the Battle for Primacy', Imbas Postgraduate Conference, NUI, Galway (November 2009).
2012-2013: Seminar leader, Level One Module, 'The Birth of Western Society, 300-1000'.
2013: 'Kingship in the Early Middle Ages' lecture as part of the 'An Introduction to the Middle Ages', IMRS/New College, Durham community education course.