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Between Sovereignty and Conscience in the Early Modern World: Archbishop Richard Creagh and the Problem of Government in Tudor Ireland

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Between Sovereignty and Conscience in the Early Modern World: Archbishop Richard Creagh and the Problem of Government in Tudor Ireland

Leduc, James (2017) Between Sovereignty and Conscience in the Early Modern World: Archbishop Richard Creagh and the Problem of Government in Tudor Ireland. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Ireland in the mid-1560s and 1570s was a contested kingdom strained by Tudor governmental and spiritual reformist efforts. Having lost considerable ground, in 1564, the Roman church sent Richard Creagh, now archbishop of Armagh, on a mission back to his native country to roll back the effects of Tudor policy. Creagh followed unconditionally neither pope nor prince, however, but his conscience, which became a fulcrum of relations between subject and sovereign, human and God, and the spiritual and temporal realms that followed a single divine command: to give Caesar his own and Christ his own. Assessing his theology and politics against the divergent yet overlapping worlds in which they unfolded, this thesis explores how Creagh’s conscientious form of life coalesced at the juncture of two historico-ontological problems: government (order) and sovereignty (metaphysical, unitary, and layered). In a world of nascent empires and increasingly global encounters, Creagh’s absolute submission to God and Christ, and his steadfast, yet conditional, sense of duty to pope and prince, raises important questions about Irish sovereignty, for his very life constituted a commentary on European debates over rights ofimperium (sovereignty) and dominion (property), on reform and conquest, and on the boundaries and status of ecclesiastical and secular jurisdictions on the one hand, and of law and grace, on the other. Tugging at itself from multiple directions, his form of life perennially risked its own undoing in a world redrawn by the pervasive, yet punctured, structuring force of a sovereignty increasingly indistinguishable from colonial power.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Leduc, James
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:History
Date:April 2017
Thesis Supervisor(s):McCormick, Ted
Keywords:Sovereignty, government, conscience, form of life
ID Code:982869
Deposited By: JAMES LEDUC
Deposited On:09 Nov 2017 20:44
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:55
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