The Rhetoric of Catastrophe

‘The Rhetoric of Catastrophe in Eleventh-Century Medieval Ireland: The Case of the Second Vision of Adomnán’, in: Catastrophes and the Apocalyptic in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. by Robert E. Bjork, ASMAR 43 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019), pp. 1-14. There is plenty scholarly contention about the rhetoric of apocalypticism and opinions are divided about which elements to include or dismiss. One of those elements is the concept of a catastrophic end (‘the Apocalypse’). The association between the catastrophic and apocalyptic anxiety is pervasive especially in studies of medieval apocalyptic movements and the interpretation of (perceived) apocalyptic portents. This article* seeks to explore the question: when is a prophecy of catastrophe not apocalyptic? * This article is the print version of …

De Finibus

A few years ago I had the good fortune to work on the project De Finibus: Christian Representations of the Afterlife in Medieval Ireland in University College Cork. I was part of a team exploring a range of texts containing eschatological ideas, which were neither biblical nor, strictly speaking, apocryphal in content. The primary outcome of this project was an easy-to-read collection of texts presented in both the orinal and in translation, together with a website providing basic information about the topic. The 2-volume project handbook was published in 2014 as The End and Beyond: Medieval Irish Eschatology (available from Oxbow). You can download my individual contributions from the Eschatology page. The second major outcome of this project was my dissertation, entitled ‘Medieval Irish …