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New Book by AMU History Professor

barr1More than 100 years ago, a dispute between a parish priest and his bishop in a remote part of Ireland escalated into an international controversy over the role of the state in religious affairs. Ave Maria University history professor Colin Barr examines this incident in a new book, The European Culture Wars in Ireland, The Callan Schools Affair 1868-81.

The book just became available in the United States after a successful launch in Ireland in August. Dr. Barr addressed about 50 people at a book launch Thursday at Ave Maria, explaining how the conflict between Fr. Robert O'Keeffe and ecclesiastical authority -- the priest sued his bishop and cardinal archbishop for libel, among other things -- drew world attention at a time when European governments were becoming increasingly wary of papal authority. Dr. Barr, at right in photo, spoke after his talk to Fred Spier, a visiting historian from The Netherlands.

Dr. Barr said he was inspired to write about the affair by a mentor of his who is a university professor in Ireland. It took about 10 years of writing and research to complete, he said.



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