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Title: The experience of God in everyday life in Alexander Carmichael's Carmina Gadelica
Author: Sugg, Laura S.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1997
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Before examining the texts of Carmina Gadelica, the man who collected them, Alexander Carmichael, is considered. His life and social milieu inform an understanding of the collection. A Gaelic speaker, exciseman, folklorist and avid advocate for the crofters with whom he lived and worked, Carmichael's motives for publishing Carmina Gadelica included a desire to portray the Highlander in a more positive light to a world which often saw stereotypes, rather than reality. The long history of the publication of the five volumes of texts and a volume of indices also assists the reader in understanding the texts more fully. For example, the title caused some concern for Carmichael and his colleagues. This discussion shows a certain ambivalence about the nature of the contents of the collection. Related to this question is the definition of prayer, so a brief one is provided. In the twentieth century, Carmina Gadelica has been popularized by the publication of selections from its volumes. Some of these works are mentioned. Lastly, similar publications contemporary with Carmina Gadelica are noted. In beginning to explore the experience of God is everyday life-immanence-in the texts themselves, definitions of immanence and transcendence are offered. The two are seen as complementary characteristics of God, not contradictory. Next, an investigation is made of the various arenas in which God is experienced in Carmina Gadelica: space, time, work and home activities. The marking and use of spatial and temporal liminalities is particularly significant in assisting the believer's experience of God's pervasive presence. The parameters for this thesis are the English translation of the published Carmina Gadelica texts. The language, even in translation, informs the reader about the experience of God in the collection. For instance, many of the prayers do not address God directly. Other texts echo the early "breastplate" tradition by surrounding the believer with God's presence by using various spatial prepositions. Many anthropomorphic images of God are pointed out. Also, there is significant use of language from the Christian tradition-scriptural allusion, liturgical prayers-which illuminates the believer's experience of God. Lastly, the names for God in the collection exhibit the relation of the one who prays to his/her God.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available