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with the sacred, its paganism that has resisted all efforts at Christianisation, his own included. The Irish Catholic Church has sought to repress the pagan rituals of the ancestral Celtic culture, represented in the play by the Lughnasa festival and its bonfires and animal sacrifices, but in Ryanga, pagan rituals and ceremonies still permit a spiritual communion which does not deny the body. Jack’s tales of African customs – in which dancing, polygamy and love-children feature prominently – holds out an image of a world in which the sexual energy of women is neither

in Irish literature since 1990
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Sexuality, Irish moral politics and capitalist crisis,1920–40

2 Growing pains: sexuality, Irish moral politics and capitalist crisis, 1920–40 In 1927 the bishops of the Irish Catholic Church held a national conference at Maynooth. Afterwards, they issued a lengthy statement with instructions for this document to be read at all Catholic churches. The statement extends beyond strictly religious matters to give the bishops’ assessment of the social and economic condition of post-independence Ireland. One of the first sections in this statement is entitled ‘Perils in our Path’. These ‘perils’ in the path of the Irish people

in Impure thoughts
Easter 1916 and the advent of post-Catholic Ireland

those who rose on Easter Monday.7 As Backus makes clear, the Irish Catholic Church had held firm authority over Irish life and politics from the time of the religious renaissance that followed Catholic emancipation in 1829.8 For most Irish republican nationalists, therefore, the quest for sovereignty was a decidedly Catholic pursuit. According to Irish historical novelist John Banville, The rising was a Catholic affair, from top to bottom, and as such was unique in the annals of Irish revolutionism … With certain exceptions, [James] Connolly among them, the 1916

in Haunted historiographies
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. This abuse did not represent a failure of the system but was endemic to it; as Ryan observes, ‘abuse occurred in the Institutions’ and ‘the Institutions in themselves were abusive’.3 Likewise, the three reports on the failure of the Catholic Church to adequately confront the sexual abuse of children by some of its priests, along with the testimony of their victims, have thoroughly discredited the Irish Catholic Church as an authority on human sexuality.4 Throughout the twentieth century, as Ursula Barry and Clair Wills note, ‘the Catholic Church in Ireland played a

in Impure thoughts

. His characters write in neat aphorisms about the (re)constructedness of historical narratives, prompting readers to question, as does Dr. Grene, ‘the written word [which] assumes authority but…may not have it.’65 Barry establishes his novel’s political significance via the intersection between Roseanne’s personal history and an Ireland beleaguered by the perpetually open wounds of colonial trauma and revolution. The Secret Scripture focuses on the unchecked authority by which the Irish Catholic Church rules over the haunted conscience of Irish individuals for much

in Haunted historiographies