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date: 03 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The episodic production of an Irish translation of the Bible from the 1560s to its completion in 1685 is emblematic of the complexity of the political, religious, and cultural history of early modern Ireland. As late as the printing of the Irish Book of Common Prayer in 1608, Gaelic Irishmen were central to the project of evangelization through print. Yet the deployment of print was essentially an expression of state authority which privileged the use of English. This chapter explores the Reformation in Ireland, and the first printings of the New and Old Testaments in Gaelic. It traces Robert Boyle’s sponsorship of the republication of the New Testament in 1681 and Old Testament in 1685, and his support for the distribution of the Gaelic Bible in Scotland. Emphasizing the vigour of Gaelic literary culture, the chapter points to the need for further research into the reception of the Irish Bible.

Keywords: Ireland, Scotland, Bible printing, Gaelic Bible, evangelization, Robert Boyle, William Bedell, Uilliam Ó Domhnuill

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