Analysis: Pagan Survivals by Tomás Ó Cathasaigh Essays

Analysis: Pagan Survivals by Tomás Ó Cathasaigh Essays

Length: 1013 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Tomás Ó Cathasaigh’s article, “Pagan survivals: the evidence of early Irish narrative,” is primarily concerned with elucidating the approaches used by scholars in the study of the literature. The article begins with a discussion concerning the relationship between pre-existing traditions and Christianity’s entrance into Ireland. Ó Cathasaigh questions W.G. Wood-Martin’s assessment that the influence each entity had on the other is easily disentangled. However, he remarks that Ireland has the benefit of a large body of literature from an early medieval time, a set of literature marked by an evident interest in pre-Christian mythology. While potential avenues of discussion regarding these works are vast and equally complex, the article instead chooses to limit itself to an overview of the methodology utilized for the study of early Irish narrative.
The purpose of the overview is to afford the reader insight into how evidence is extracted from its sources when approached from a variety of perspectives. The author supplements this outline by acknowledging certain issues scholars encounter through the use of one approach or another in this field of study. Ó Cathasaigh structures his overview by drawing on a system derived from the work of Mark Abrams that divides the content of the article into four distinct sections; the work, the artist, the universe, and the audience. Ó Cathasaigh notes that even though the work should be and is frequently at the heart of any scholarly inquiry, the artist and the universe just as often find themselves a central focus considering the unique context of early Irish literature. A fifth and final section includes an excerpt from Cath Maige Tuired and commentary in order to demonstrate the pract...


... middle of paper ...


... Murphy’s inclination toward the oral tradition carries more weight considering the Christian influence is felt only with minor inclusions along the lines of the reference to the Holy Spirit in the excerpt. The mimetic perspective is discussed briefly with the possibility of an actual Celtic chief having possessed a silver prosthetic limb and is followed by the Generation Conflict as a focal point and source of debate for mythological and textualist critics. In concluding his overview, Ó Cathasaigh highlights the significance of early Irish narrative as a unique and invaluable body of literature brought about by the coalescence of two distinct cultures.



Works Cited

Tomás Ó Cathasaigh, ‘Pagan survivals: the evidence of early Irish narrative’, in P. Ni Chathain and M. Richter (eds), Irland und Europa: die Kirche in Fruhmittelalter (Stuttgard, 1984), pp. 291-307.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

How to Navigate Pagan Parenting in a Christian Society Essay

- Among American Pagans today, there are many opinions on raising their children in a predominately Christian society. While it is true that in general most Americans are more tolerant of other’s religious beliefs, there are, however, still those that are not so tolerant. It is because of those few less tolerant that many Pagan parents have a hard time in navigating between these two worlds. Even though, in general, Christians are concerned with how another religion may be raising their own children (out of misunderstanding of another religion) they need not fear....   [tags: pagan parents, paganism, christian society]

Strong Essays
1928 words (5.5 pages)

A Review of John Pagan’s "Anne Orthwood’s Bastard" Essay

- In Anne Orthwood’s Bastard: Sex and Law in Early Virginia, John Pagan sets out to examine the complexities of the legal system on the Eastern Shore in the seventeenth- century. He brings to light the growing differences between the English and Virginia legal systems. Pagan, an early American legal historian at the University of Richmond School of Law, spins a tragic story on the legalities surrounding an instance of out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Indentured servant Anne Orthwood’s brief encounter with a man of higher social standing produced a series of four court cases....   [tags: Literary Analysis]

Strong Essays
1304 words (3.7 pages)

Beowulf: Christian Vs Pagan Influence Essay

- The European epic, Beowulf, was written sometime in the eighth century in England. This time period provides us with an idea for the mixture of Christian and pagan elements because of an English society that was in the process of converting from Paganism to Christianity. Examples of Pagan and Christian traditions are presented all throughout literature. Many of the influences deal with what it going on in the world, when the piece is written. When Beowulf was written, St. Augustine had just come over to try and convert the Anglo-Saxon people to Christianity; although the conversion succeeded it was a shallow conversion, and there were still people following the Pagan ways....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Strong Essays
1638 words (4.7 pages)

Christian and Pagan Elements in Beowulf Essay

- In eighth century Anglo-Saxon society, history was passed down as oral stories, as writing historical events was too troublesome as there were too many dialects. In addition, in eighth century Anglo-Saxon society, there was an important transition from the old pagan traditions to the new theology of Christianity. Thus, as new stories were being told, to make them apply to the audience, Christianity had to be incorporated. Coming out of this age of transition, Beowulf has various Christian colorings along with the pagan traditions of old....   [tags: Epic Poems, Grendel, Anglo-Saxon]

Strong Essays
1145 words (3.3 pages)

Pagan Symbols And Christian Symbols Essay example

- For many centuries, Literature critics have constantly debated on whether it was more inspired by Pagan or Christian beliefs. These said critics have constantly been trying to differentiate between the symbolism used to describe the Pagan symbols and Christian symbols within the halls of Horathgar and the Castle lived in by the King of the Geats. These symbols can be argued to symbolize Pagan or Christian symbolism due to the fact that they can either describe the beliefs of Pagan or Christians....   [tags: Christianity, Religion, God, Sin]

Strong Essays
1431 words (4.1 pages)

Characterizing Pagan Religions Essay

- ... There are many different reasons why a person chooses to follow a Pagan religion, just as there are many different traditions and practices within any given Pagan religion. Among all of these different traditions and practices there are the shared beliefs such as a Father God and a Mother Goddess and that all things within the universe are interconnected, respecting all life, and the honoring of male and female energies. Pagan religions also share an ethic of self-responsibility, such as in my personal religion, the Wiccan Rede, in doing as you choose, so long as it brings no harm to anyone or anything; "These Eight words the Rede fulfill: An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will" ("The wiccan r...   [tags: nature, beliefs, convert]

Strong Essays
637 words (1.8 pages)

Beowulf - Pagan or Christian Epic? Essay

- Beowulf Pagan or Christian Epic Beowulf: Pagan or Christian Epic. Although the story of Beowulf is filled with references to religion and faith, many discrepancies occur throughout the story that suggest that Beowulf is not a Christian epic. The character of Beowulf frequently speaks to God and obviously believes in His existence. However, pagan practices are mentioned in several places. Beowulf often refers to another being rather than the Christian God. Pagan practices of cremation and blood-drinking are included in the epic....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Strong Essays
1060 words (3 pages)

paganbeo Pagan Aspect of Beowulf Essay

- The Pagan Aspect of Beowulf             In Beowulf the pagan aspect is revealed through many passages and many heathen rites or customs in which the form of expression or the thought suggests pagan usage or beliefs.   “The poet’s heroic age is full of men both ‘emphatically pagan and exceptionally good,’ men who believe in a God whom they thank at every imaginable opportunity. Yet they perform all the pagan rites known to Tacitua, and are not Christian” (Frank 52). Certainly the pagan element seems to be too deeply interwoven in the text for us to suppose that it is due to additions made by scribes at a time when the poem had come to be written down....   [tags: Epic Beowulf essays]

Strong Essays
2110 words (6 pages)

Essay about Beowulf Is A Pagan Work

- The poem Beowulf was written in England sometime in the 8th century. It was written during a time when the society was in the process of being converted from paganism to Christianity. The Christian influences are combined with early folklore and heroic legends of Germanic tribes. Yet, the pagan elements in the epic poem Beowulf clearly overshadow the Christian elements, and it is visible in the character’s superhuman personifications, their hunger for revenge, and their strong belief in fate....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Strong Essays
518 words (1.5 pages)

Essay on Pagan History

- Pagan History Paganism is a loose word for the large variety of polytheistic, shamanistic, and mystical non-monotheistic religions. Paganism exists in all cultures, from paleolithic to technological, but has historically waxed and waned. The ancient Egyptians are an example of a highly pagan society; so are the ancient Romans; and all paleolithic cultures from the Old Stone Age to the present have strong pagan elements. An example of a less pagan culture would be the West for the last thousand years or so, since the centuries following the Fall of Rome....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
2520 words (7.2 pages)