Renowned Irish academic speaks at ACU

Published: Monday 14th March 2016

Professor Salvador Ryan from Pontifical University, Saint Patrick's College, Maynooth, Ireland, will be coming to Australia to present two public lectures in Sydney and Brisbane. He is professor of Ecclesiastical History and has published widely in the area of late medieval and early modern popular religious belief.

Preachers' tales and what they tell us about popular religion in late medieval Ireland

Medieval preachers who wished to effectively communicate their message to a congregation, and so ensure that their audience didn’t forget the content in a hurry, were fond of employing a range of colourful cautionary tales (exempla) which soon became indispensable homiletic tools. This paper examines a collection of these tales called the Liber Exemplorum, compiled between 1275 and 1279 by an English Franciscan friar working in Ireland, which contains not only material collected from all over Ireland and England, but also from the author’s time as a student in Paris. Subjects covered include devotion to Christ’s passion, treatment of the Eucharistic host, the intercession of the Virgin Mary, and the consequences of all manner of sins. These exempla were not only exceedingly useful in their own day; they also offer to historians today a unique window on the faith lives and expectations of late medieval Christians.

Date: Monday 11 April 2016

Time: Refreshments at 6pm for a 6.30 start - 8 pm

Venue: ACU Leadership Centre, Level 3, 229 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane.

Parking is available onsite at the Cathedral of St Stephen Car-park. The entrance is off Charlotte St.


“Críost Liom”: Treasures of the Irish Christian Tradition

It has been fashionable for quite some time now to market the distinctiveness of the Irish Christian tradition. Whether one loves or loathes the term “Celtic Spirituality”, there is no denying the impact that it has had on popular consciousness and the tendency to set the “Celtic” world apart from more “mainstream”experiences of Christianity elsewhere. In more recent years, scholars have been at pains to situate Irish Christianity within its broader European context and to emphasise parallels rather than the divergences. This wide-ranging paper seeks to identify and discuss some of the hallmarks of the Irish Christian experience across the centuries (hallmarks that are here termed “treasures”), not with a view to promoting the idea of a spiritual isolationism, but rather to explaining how Christian ideas were received, appropriated and enlivened by the Irish cultural matrix which hosted them. This can best be encapsulated in the prayer “Críost Liom” (Christ [be] with me), which takes the form both of an aspiration and a statement of fact.

Date: Wednesday 13 April 2016

Time: Refreshments at 6pm for a 6.30 start - 8 pm

Venue: The Function Room, Ground Floor, Edmund Rice Building Strathfield Campus