This is the first book-length study of the humanities and the Irish university. Ireland was a deeply religious country throughout the twentieth century but the colleges of its National University never established a religion or theology department. The official first language of Ireland is Irish but the vast majority of teaching in the arts and humanities is in English. These are two of the anomalies that long constrained humanities education in Ireland. This book charts a history of responses to humanities education in the Irish context. Reading the work of John Henry Newman, Padraig Pearse, Sean O Tuama, Denis Donoghue, Declan Kiberd, Richard Kearney and others, it looks for an Irish humanities ethos. It compares humanities models in the US, France and Asia with those in Ireland in light of work by Immanuel Kant, Pierre Bourdieu and Jacques Derrida. It should appeal to those interested in Irish education and history.