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Explaining the Present: Autumn 2021 | Volume 110
Setting the bar characteristically high for itself, the autumn 2021 issue of Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review considers, from a number of perspectives, the foundational substructure upon which contemporary reflective thought and opinion are based. An underlying theme is that in order to comprehend the present zeitgeist and influence that of the future, it is important to have an understanding of our collective past.
Alfred Elmore’s Religious Controversy and the Fr Thomas Maguire Debates
Caoimhín de Bhairís
Religious Controversy in the Time of Louis XIV (location now unknown) was painted by the Clonakilty born artist Alfred Elmore and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1849.1 Alfred Elmore was also a shareholder in Daniel O’Connell’s National Bank from as early as 1836 and his father was a close associate of O’Connell and an ardent supporter of Catholic Emancipation.2 In 1840 Elmore exhibited a painting at the Royal Academy exhibition in London that was commissioned by O’Connell and which would eventually be hung in St Andrew’s church, Westland Row, in Dublin, where it remains to this day.
Careful Thought Needed on Border Polls
The history of Northern Ireland since 1920 demonstrates the danger of attempting to impose, by a simple majority, a constitutional settlement and an identity on a minority, who feel they have been overruled. Those pressing for an early border poll on Irish unity, which would have to take place in both parts of Ireland, should reflect on this. Such a poll could repeat the error of 1920 and add to divisions, rather than diminish them.
How Did We Get Here? Reflections towards a Philosophy of the Present
Philipp W Rosemann
Explaining the present has always been one of the preoccupations of philosophy, and of modern philosophy in particular. Kant, in his celebrated essay, ‘What is Enlightenment?’; Hegel in his speculative metaphysics of history; Nietzsche in his declaration that ‘God is dead’; Heidegger in his reflections on ‘the end of philosophy and the task of thinking’ – all these philosophers, and others, have attempted to offer an account of their present conditions. This essay takes up the same task, but with the precise goal of shedding light upon the intellectual substructure (one could say) of Irish life in the 2020s.
Limited Liability: Ireland’s Global Legacy
Limited liability allows sharing in ownership of a business without any responsibility for debts which that business may incur. The most that the investor can lose if it fails is the amount that the share in it has cost. Although the modern corporation depends absolutely upon it for its existence, this legal privilege is taken for granted, like the expectation that the sun will rise to-morrow.
On Active Service in Ireland in a Troubled Decade 1915-25
My father Pa Murray was a quiet man, and as we grew up he rarely spoke in detail of his experiences. However, my parents kept an open house, and our visitors were many and varied, mostly relatives from Derry and Cork, and also many names from the past as well. I first became conscious of this during the war years and afterwards when in winter months all activity was confined to a single room because of fuel shortages.
Roman History in Hewitt, McGuinness, Friel, Heaney
Reception Studies is a major growth area in Classics. The past has an impact on the present in an active rather than a passive way. T S Eliot explains: ‘Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different’. Marina Carr cites the example of Shakespeare: ‘he took from everywhere but look what he did with his plunder’.
The Significance of ‘Home’ in Séamus Heaney
Home has always been more than mere domestic setting in Seamus Heaney’s work. The people, traditions, values, sounds, noises, and smells that emerged from his Ulster farmstead and surrounding landscape have been not only central to his identity as a Northern Irish poet, but absolutely integral to his creative well-spring.