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in both doctrine and practice within the Roman Catholic Church, changes in the policies of important external actors, and what he calls ‘snowballing’ as one regime after another tumbled from the late 1970s onwards. 1 For our purposes it is his use of the religious argument that is most interesting, and in particular the focus upon change within one particular religious tradition. The first stage of his argument here is simply to observe the strong correlation between Western Christianity and democracy and to note that of 46 democracies

in Christianity and democratisation
The Catholic Church during the Celtic Tiger Years

1 Crisis, what crisis? The Catholic Church during the Celtic Tiger years Eamon Maher Any book purporting to offer a socio-­cultural critique of the Celtic Tiger cannot fail to deal with the thorny issue of Irish Catholicism. There is a commonly held belief that the Celtic Tiger hastened a wave of aggressive secularism that proved fatal to the hallowed status of organized religion in Ireland, and particularly to the majority faith, Roman Catholicism. However, such a perspective fails to recognize the steady decline in vocations to the priesthood from the beginning

in From prosperity to austerity
A tale of two traumas

3 Shattered assumptions: a tale of two traumas Brendan Geary The focus of this book is on the recent unparalleled experience of prosperity of the people of Ireland, and the Icarus-­like crash that occurred in 2008, the consequences of which are still unravelling today. At the same time as the Irish economy suffered from near collapse, the Catholic Church was going through its own agonies, most specifically as a result of the revelations related to the emotional, sexual and physical abuse of children, as revealed in the Ferns (2005), Murphy (2009), Ryan (2009

in From prosperity to austerity
Abstract only

the right to criticise majority representatives where they promoted values opposed to the teachings of the Church or, the more cynical might suggest, where they challenged the Church’s institutional interests. Nonetheless, and despite exceptions such as Argentina, there can be little doubt that during the ‘third wave’ the Catholic Church did become an institution that tended to support those arguing for an end to the abuse of human rights and the bringing down of authoritarian regimes. With the partial exception of Greece, in those

in Christianity and democratisation

2 The Celtic Tiger and the new Irish religious market The Celtic Tiger and the religious market Catherine Maignant Many assume that the Celtic Tiger has devoured religion. However, a careful examination of data does not fully support this analysis. In the view of recent developments, it may even be argued that religiosity remained part of life for most Irish people throughout the Celtic Tiger years. John Waters once commented that in spite of Ireland’s disaffection with the Catholic Church ‘there [was] no such thing as an ex-­Catholic’ in Ireland (Waters 1997, p

in From prosperity to austerity

leadership is important. Much also depends upon the attitude of the authoritarian regime, for in those systems ostensibly committed to ‘strengthening Christian civilisation’ it may be much harder to attack religious leaders, though in countries such as Chile and South Africa there was always the option of favouring one religious group over another. By way of contrast, communist authorities with their commitment to anti-religion could safely sideline or ignore leading clerics, except perhaps in Poland where the Catholic Church was able to retain its social authority

in Christianity and democratisation
Still denominational and private

system’, again revealing a state of affairs unique in a developed country.13 One of the commentators was Fintan O’Toole, a well-known journalist and essay-writer, who regularly denounces the lack of a true national system of primary education and the continuing control of the Catholic Church over the vast majority of schools, describing it as ‘a more and more absurd anachronism’ with regard to the social developments of the past thirty years.14 Structural permanence, limited change Despite a number of attempts to adapt the education system (as we will see), its main

in Schools and the politics of religion and diversity in the Republic of Ireland

Revolution convinced De Tocqueville of the basic compatibility of religion and democracy, the experience of 1789 suggested to him what might happen were irreligion to lie at the heart of political change. More importantly its consequences were to push Europe’s most influential religious institution, the Roman Catholic Church, into a century and a half of hostility towards democratic politics. On the eve of that revolution, Europe was in the throes of industrial and intellectual revolutions which challenged many traditional ways of thought and

in Christianity and democratisation
A socio-cultural critique of the Celtic Tiger and its aftermath

This book examines the phenomenon of the rise and fall of the Irish Celtic Tiger from a cultural perspective. It looks at Ireland's regression from prosperity to austerity in terms of a society as opposed to just an economy. Using literary and cultural theory, it looks at how this period was influenced by, and in its turn influenced, areas such as religion, popular culture, politics, literature, photography, gastronomy, music, theatre, poetry and film. It seeks to provide some answers as to what exactly happened to Irish society in the past few decades of boom and bust. The socio-cultural rather than the purely economic lens it uses to critique the Celtic Tiger is useful because society and culture are inevitably influenced by what happens in the economic sphere. That said, all of the measures taken in the wake of the financial crash sought to find solutions to aid the ailing economy, and the social and cultural ramifications were shamefully neglected. The aim of this book therefore is to bring the ‘Real’ of the socio-cultural consequences of the Celtic Tiger out of the darkness and to initiate a debate that is, in some respects, equally important as the numerous economic analyses of recent times. The essays analyse how culture and society are mutually-informing discourses and how this synthesis may help us to more fully understand what happened in this period, and more importantly, why it happened.

the roles it plays in social and political life. From the Catholic Church’s involvement in education to the Protestant preachers active in politics, religion is intimately tangled up with how Northern Ireland is organised. Some have argued that this has a very significant impact on community relations and conflict.1 On the other hand, others maintain that religion is irrelevant to conflict: it only provides the labels of identity, and these labels really mark out competing ethnic groups.2 The chapter therefore asks to what extent religion is involved in social and

in Northern Ireland after the troubles