Church and state
in Ireland during the Second World War
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There was widespread anxiety amongst the Catholic hierarchy, theologians, vocationalist social thinkers, and parish priests at the expansion of the Irish state during the Second World War. The clash between church and state that occurred post-war was prefigured in this period, with a growing discomfort at the role of the state and worry that an ‘omnicompetent’ state was emerging in place of the more medievalist corporatist model.This chapter synthesis the broad themes of the book – moral economy, growth of the state, impact on the individual – in examining instances of conflict between church and state at local and national level. Whether it was a debate amongst theologians as to whether the state’s fixed price for tea represented a morally ‘just’ price, or clashes between priests and policemen over rationing restrictions, the tension between spiritual and temporal authority was heightened during the war.

Ireland during the Second World War

Farewell to Plato’s Cave

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