The Rhetoric and Reality of Reform in Irish Eschatological Thought, c. 1000 – 1150
‘The Rhetoric and Reality of Reform in Irish Eschatological Thought, c. 1000 – 1150’, History of Religions 55:3 (2016), 269-88
This essay challenges the ideas that the ‘great fear’ recorded in Irish annals for the year 1096 was the culmination of an escalating rhetoric of apocalypticism, and that it was a trigger for the ecclesiastical reform movement in Ireland. This essay also suggests that the diatribe known as ‘Adomnán’s Second Vision’ should not necessarily be associated with the annalistic accounts of 1096. It is argued that a significant proportion of eleventh-century Irish eschatological texts are non-apocalyptic and stress the need for the moral reformation of the individual, rather than the institutional reform of the Church.