Pilgrims and strangers : the theological motivation of Irish Peregrinatio

Cutrer, Meredith D. (2013) Pilgrims and strangers : the theological motivation of Irish Peregrinatio. Masters thesis, University of Wales, Trinity St David.

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Abstract

This paper traces the origins and the influences on Irish monastic peregrinatio beginning with Biblical exemplars, particularly Abraham, Moses, and the peregrini in Hebrews 11 who undertake travel as they seek a land promised to them by God. Despite being a physical land, the land they seek is more importantly a spiritual one promised as an eschatological reward to Christians. The desert fathers and Patristic authors, following these Biblical exemplars and believing that the wilderness is a location more suitable for divine interaction, seek the desert in order to prepare themselves for their coming judgment. Their motivation, rooted in their eschatologically-focused mindset, urges them to think constantly about the end of their lives and the end of the world. These early Christians ascetics prove very influential to their Irish counterparts. In the same way, the Irish peregrini of the early medieval period also renounce their homeland and possessions and travel abroad, never to return to their former lives in order to prepare for the coming Eschaton. Their desire is two-fold: to experience God’s presence and favor anticipatorily and to prepare for Judgment Day. Both aspirations center on their eschatological orientation. The communion they seek is one that is usually only offered to those in heaven, and Judgment Day is a future reality for the monks where their eternal destination is decided based upon their faith and works on earth. The Irish understanding of peregrinatio – a lifelong ascetic discipline for sanctification – remains distinct from punitive and penitential exiles which are temporary and propitiatory, a fact often overlooked when considering Irish peregrinatio. Both temporary exile and permanent peregrinatio, however, still find their origin in an eschatological outlook oriented towards preparing for the imminent End.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Series: Carmarthen / Lampeter Dissertations;10412/279.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pilgrims and pilgrimages, Ireland
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: John Dalling
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2014 14:00
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2019 07:29
URI: http://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/406

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