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From Galway to Cloyne and beyond

This book engages with the spectacular disenchantment with Catholicism in Ireland over the relatively short period of four decades. It begins with the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1979 and in particular his address to young people in Galway, where the crowd had been entertained beforehand by two of Ireland’s most celebrated clerics, Bishop Eamon Casey and Fr Michael Cleary, both of whom were engaged at the time in romantic affairs that resulted in the birth of children. It will be argued that the Pope’s visit was prompted by concern at the significant fall in vocations to priesthood and the religious life and the increasing secularism of Irish society.

The book then explores the various referenda that took place during the 1980s on divorce and abortion which, although they resulted in victories for the Church, demonstrated that their hold on the Irish public was weakening. The clerical abuse scandals of the 1990s were the tipping point for an Irish public which was generally resentful of the intrusive and repressive form of Catholicism that had been the norm in Ireland since the formation of the State in the 1920s.

Boasting an impressive array of contributors from various backgrounds and expertise, the essays in the book attempt to delineate the exact reasons for the progressive dismantling of the cultural legacy of Catholicism and the consequences this has had on Irish society. Among the contributors are Patricia Casey, Joe Cleary, Michael Cronin, Louise Fuller, Patsy McGarry, Vincent Twomey and Eamonn Wall.

Living spirituality

Between 1598 and 1800, an estimated 3, 271 Catholic women left England to enter convents on the Continent. This study focuses more particularly upon those who became Benedictines in the seventeenth century, choosing exile in order to pursue their vocation for an enclosed life. Through the study of a wide variety of original manuscripts, including chronicles, death notices, clerical instructions, texts of spiritual guidance, but also the nuns’ own collections of notes, this book highlights the tensions between the contemplative ideal and the nuns’ personal experiences. Its first four chapters adopt a traditional historical approach to illustrate the tensions between theory and practice in the ideal of being dead to the world. They offer a prosopographical study of Benedictine convents in exile, and show how those houses were both cut-off and enclosed yet very much in touch with the religious and political developments at home. The next fur chapters propose a different point of entry into the history of nuns, with a study of emotions and the senses in the cloister, delving into the textual analysis of the nuns’ personal and communal documents to explore aspect of a lived spirituality, when the body, which so often hindered the spirit, at times enabled spiritual experience.

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S. Karly Kehoe

significant emphasis on the schooling of girls and young women, a feature distinctively lacking in the Protestant tradition.6 The final chapter considers the rise in devotional activity and associational or organisational culture between 1870 and 1900. The confraternities, sodalities, societies and associations that were introduced, largely by the middle class, worked to further consolidate the Catholic population. Although Irish culture would remain a distinctive element in the character of Catholicism, an increasingly united Scottish working-class consciousness and

in Creating a Scottish Church
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Street photography, humanism and the loss of innocence
Justin Carville

verbally’ (1984: 116), and Marie de Paor has contended that ‘Native Irish culture survived in words and traditional music’ (1993: 120). In fact, the perceived ‘absence of a visual tradition in Ireland, equal in stature to its powerful literary counterpart’, as Luke Gibbons once described it (1986: 10), has been central to debates on the identification of culturally differentiated practices of seeing and representation that may characterise a distinct Irish visual culture (Carville 2007, 2011; Dalsimer and Kreilkamp 1993; McBride 1984; McCole 2007). However, there are two

in Tracing the cultural legacy of Irish Catholicism
Louise Fuller

expressions of Catholic and Irish identity state were also very concerned to further the aim of restoring the Irish language and culture to its rightful position and they did this chiefly by means of the education system. Church and political interests had the same vision of the purity and distinctiveness of Irish culture and were equally concerned to restore, maintain and protect what was seen as the unique Irish Catholic identity from what were perceived to be alien influences emanating from abroad. Independence made it possible to copper-fasten Catholic identity and

in Irish Catholic identities
Joe Cleary

, Oxford: Wiley/​Blackwell. Campbell, Colin (1999) ‘The Easternisation of the West’, in Bryan Wilson and Jamie Cresswell (eds.), New Religious Movements:  Challenges and Responses, London and New York: Routledge. Cleary, Joe and Claire Connolly (eds.) (2005) The Cambridge Companion to Modern Irish Culture, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cresskey, James G. (2014) Harnessing Chaos:  The Bible in English Religious Discourse since 1968, London: Bloomsbury Academic. Curtius, Ernst Robert (2013) European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, trans. Willard R. Trask

in Tracing the cultural legacy of Irish Catholicism
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Brian Heffernan

in Ireland 1898–1921 (Dublin and Pittsburgh, PA: Gill and Macmillan and University of Pittsburgh Press, 1973), p. 4. 10 Pauric Travers, ‘The priest in politics. The case of conscription’, in Oliver MacDonagh, W. F. Mandle and Pauric Travers (eds), Irish Culture and Nationalism, 1750–1950 (London, Basingstoke and Canberra: The Macmillan Press and Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, 1983), pp. 161–81, at p. 161. 4 INTRODUCTION December 1918 election victory, turning from public defiance to guerrilla warfare.11 This process placed a strain

in Freedom and the Fifth Commandment
Bernhard Maier

which were prevalent at those individual points of medieval Irish history at which they originated. Thus the mythological tale of The Second Battle of Moytura (Cath Maige Tuired) once used to be derived from an unattested Indo-European prototype that might also be found in ancient Germanic, Roman and Indian traditions, the text being frequently cited as evidence for the conservative character of early medieval Irish culture and the tenacity of pagan traditions under a superficially Christian veneer. Now, how­ever, Cath Maige Tuired is widely regarded as a literary

in Irish Catholic identities
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Cara Delay

children even as they made use of their maternal status to demand that priests and bishops respond to their needs and wants. As Irish culture increasingly identified women with the home and the private sphere, as Catholic devotions gained favour throughout Ireland, and as household prayers increased in popularity in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Irish women welcomed their new role as guardian of religion in the home. How this worked in practice, though, remains obscure. Chapter  Four, ‘The holy household’, offers a case study of the Irish Catholic

in Irish women and the creation of modern Catholicism, 1850–1950
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Peter Murray and Maria Feeney

might reproduce the pattern of Britain’s industrial revolution, ‘i.e. within a pattern of relatively few large urban complexes, with a predominantly city-​type culture’. Alternatively it could ‘crystallise around a pattern of some larger and some smaller urban centres, of a kind that will ensure the continued survival of a rural culture in Ireland side by side with and properly integrated with a city culture’. If the second option were pursued, Newman believed that ‘a new Irish culture that will be urban without entirely ceasing to be rural’ could be created (Newman

in Church, state and social science in Ireland