The Irish Penitentials and Their Significance for the Sacrament of Penance Today

By Payer, Pierre J. | The Catholic Historical Review, July 1996 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

The Irish Penitentials and Their Significance for the Sacrament of Penance Today


Payer, Pierre J., The Catholic Historical Review


The Irish Penitentials and Their Significance for the Sacrament of Penance Today. By Hugh Connolly. (Blackrock, Co. Dublin: Four Courts Press. Distributed by International Specialized Book Services, Inc., 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street, Portland, OR 97213-3644. 1995. Pp. xii, 256. $45.00.)

In five chapters Father Connolly makes his case for the contemporary relevance and significance of the ancient Irish handbooks of penance. After placing the penitentials in their cultural and historical context he undertakes a lengthy textual analysis of the works from the point of view of one of their central organizing principles-the eight capital sins that were inherited from John Cassian (gluttony, avarice, anger, dejection, lust, languor, vainglory, and pride). The fourth chapter reads the penitentials through the perspective and within the framework afforded by the Ordo paenitentiae of the modern Irish Church. He puts it somewhat differently, "an analysis of the sacrament of penance and its parts passed through the filter, as it were, of Celtic penitential theology" (p. 124). Here he shows that the conception and spirit of penance and confession evidenced in the traditional elements of contrition (of heart), confession (by mouth), and satisfaction (through works) are reflected in the penitentials. In the final chapter Connolly takes a broad, interpretative approach to the symbolism of the penitentials through a discussion of three models of penance that run through the texts-the judicial model, the medical model of disease and healing, and the pilgrimage model.

The penitentials appeared in Western Europe when the harsh system of nonrepeatable public penance was waning, to be replaced with repeatable, private penance or confession.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

The Irish Penitentials and Their Significance for the Sacrament of Penance Today
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?