Irish vernacular law and church law
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Irish vernacular law and church law book
For a time in which clerics were themselves sometimes responsible for committing vernacular law to writing, a clear-cut distinction between church law and ‘secular law’ may, seem artificial. The discussion will begin, however, with an essential introduction to the historiography concerning what is commonly termed ‘Irish vernacular law’ and the salient correspondences between vernacular law and the Hibernensis. The comparable themes that the author shall examine will be treated one by one, by the order in which they appear in Corus Besgnai. They are: perceptions of social and political structures, the concept of ‘natural law’/‘the law of nature’, pastoral care, tithes, burial; fathers and sons; oblates, and abbatial succession. The language of mutual contractual obligation, which permeates Corus Besgnai, is also evident in the clauses concerning pastoral care. Both espouse similar ideas regarding the development of law, fathers and sons, and oblates. But there are clear differences when it comes to penance or abbatial succession.