An Image of Man

It is not unfair to assert almost everything good in Christianity and its reign came from paganism. The pageantry picked up by the Church in the Middle Ages and which served as the cultural glue holding together most communities over its glory days were variously pagan or indigenous festivals, devices, and customs which persisted even after conversion, and, as those customs go, they were largely “practical,” i.e. they made sense of, and were derived from, the relevant world that is the local environment, local circumstances, local history. Thus comes the rich tapestry of various local cultures, cults, and customs throughout the Middle Ages — remnants or the legacy of those who lived by the “heath” and, as such, its biodiversity, which demands different cultures to live amongst it and utilise it. The Church merely inserted some of its cosmopolitan detritus into it all, enough to draw authority and tribute unto itself while generally not provoking the locals too much to protest the mythical redactions and the extra or redirected tier of taxation.Read More »

Ireland and Its Discontents: On the “Homelessness Crisis”

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t is saddening and disheartening to hear of the homeless dying on the street, or the dozens of stories of individuals or families on the verge of, or having already gone over, the brink of utter destitution, either in seeking emergency accommodation or in joining the ranks of “rough sleepers.” The oft-cited figure reiterated in numerous editorials from the end of 2017 was at least 5000 adults and 3000 children currently being housed in emergency accommodation. As of January of 2018, one sees the number up to an estimated minimum of 9000. It is nothing new, except to those who momentarily enjoyed the artificial glut of the “Celtic Tiger” — cruel landlords, evictions, and resulting homelessness and destitution has been something of a morbid Irish tradition for a few centuries now. Familiarity, particularly for this, certainly breeds contempt.Read More »