Edmund Rice and the first Christian Brothers

Dáire Keogh

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ISBN: 978-1-84682-120-2
October 2008. 320pp; ills.

In 1944, W.T. Cosgrave described the Christian Brothers as 'Ireland's gift to civilization'. More recently, a former government minister called them 'a shower of savage bastards'. This history aims to get beyond these stereotypical representations of Edmund Rice and the first generation Christian Brothers, to see them as they saw themselves and were understood by their contemporaries. It goes beyond hagiography, and interprets the Brothers within context, against the background of Catholic Emancipation, the modernization of Irish society and the fashioning of the church according to the norms of the Council of Trent.

Dáire Keogh lectures in St Patrick's College, Dublin City University. He is currently IRCHSS Government of Ireland Senior Research Fellow.