I grew up on the west coast of Canada, on Vancouver Island, but, after many other things, did Masters research on Neoplatonic philosophy at Dalhousie, in Halifax, Nova Scotia before coming to Maynooth. Following this, I was looking for a way to bring my study of ancient and medieval philosophy bear on medieval Irish literature. Once I heard of Dr. Elizabeth Boyle's appointment at Maynooth, the choice was obvious. In a general way, my research in on the way that philosophical ideas were transmitted to medieval Ireland through patristic authorities, and how these ideas are taken up, synthesized and transformed, especially in early saga and legal texts. More specifically, I am addressing the problem of the gods of the sagas. We know that the sagas were written by ecclesiatically trained authors, and yet many of the sagas present the gods as historically existing beings that are neither angel, nor devil, nor human, but something of a seemingly different order. The question, then, is how such beings could be necessary to a view of the world that is an expression of ecclesiastical scholarship. As a way of limiting the scope of my research, I am currently considering these developments only insofar as they inform Acallam na Senórach. As a grand synthesis of earlier developments on the subject, the Acallam provides me with a limited way of considering those earlier developments as a whole, and also a way of assessing their significance for the aspirations of twelfth-century scholastic philosophy and theology, to which the Acallam seeks to conciliate them.
I completed my BA in Nua-Ghaeilge and Celtic Studies in Maynooth University in 2013. I was awarded a John and Pat Hume Scholarship from Maynooth University for my PhD and subsequently received an Irish Research Council Award to complete this work. The subject matter of my research is Early-Irish religious poetry.