The menace of Rome
in The religion of Orange politics
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This chapter offers a detailed ethnographic analysis of the Grand Orange Lodge Archive as a space where Orangemen act as amateur historians to produce historical accounts which make sense of the claimed primordial sectarian conflict between Catholics and Protestants. The empirical focus is on three Orange archivists, plus visitors to the archive, and their discussions about how contemporary Scottish society and politics is being shaped by the long-standing threats of papal aggression, Irish republicanism, and Scottish nationalism. Analytically, the chapter makes use of new theories of conspiracism to suggest that Orange history-making offers members of the Order a coherent and powerful a theodicy with which to interpret the world around them. The chapter concludes by warning against exoticising such conspiracy beliefs, suggesting that there is a strong hermeneutic elective affinity between certain types of conspiracism and certain versions of anthropological theory-building.

The religion of Orange politics

Protestantism and fraternity in contemporary Scotland

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