recently, however, scholars such as Alfred Stepan and Elizabeth Prodromou have suggested that there are both pragmatic and theological factors encouraging a stronger Orthodox engagement with democracy – perhaps recast and without some of the accompanying liberal assumptions – in the future.
Analysing the Orthodox engagement with democracy and democratisation is far more problematic than with Western Christianity, for a number of reasons, and most sources have focused on the reasons underlying the tendency of the Orthodox churches to support
Religion is implicated both in questions of institutional design and in what might
loosely be termed republican social politics. In this chapter, we offer a republican
analysis of the constitutional framework for Church–State relations in Ireland.
The provisions concerning religion in the 1937 Constitution are ambiguously
poised between contradictory theoretical models: on the one hand, religion is
accorded an essentially private status for most practical purposes; on the other, it
is given strong symbolic recognition as a central feature of national identity, and
Shattered assumptions: a tale of two traumas
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),
Crisis, what crisis? The Catholic Church
during the Celtic Tiger years
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
Interest groups were the other key elite actors who played a crucial role in the politics of self-government. Some of them had a historical presence within Scottish society and/or a large membership which lent them a degree of representativeness in ‘interpreting’ public opinion and in turn to shape it even superior to that of political parties. The key groups analysed here are the Church of Scotland, the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) and the business organisations. Following the pattern of chapter 2 , for each of these actors I
The Celtic Tiger and the new Irish religious
The Celtic Tiger and the religious market
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
Among interest groups as well, the politics of self-government was played differently than in the 1970s, especially in relation to the European dimension. While the Church of Scotland had been isolated in the 1970s in being both pro-devolution and pro-EU and in seeing the latter strengthening the case for the former, it was by then in good company. The key change, of course, concerned the STUC which was in the 1990s one of they key actors in the effort to Europeanise Scottish devolution. Like Labour and the SNP, the STUC’s perception of
Separate but equal? Schools and the politics of religion and diversity in the Republic of Ireland focuses on the historical and current place of religion in the Irish education system from the perspective of children’s rights and citizenship. It offers a critical analysis of the political, cultural and social forces that have perpetuated the patronage system, looks at the ways in which the denominational model has been adapted to increased religious and cultural diversity in Irish society and shows that recent changes have failed to address persistent discrimination and the absence of respect for freedom of conscience. It relates current debates on the denominational system and the role of the State in education to Irish political thought and conceptions of national identity in Ireland, showing the ways in which such debates reflect a tension between nationalist-communitarian and republican political outlooks. There have been efforts towards accommodation and against instances of discrimination within the system, but Irish educational structures still privilege communal and private interests and hierarchies over equal rights, either in the name of a de facto ‘majority’ right to religious domination or by virtue of a deeply flawed and limited view of ‘parental choice’.
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.
preserve their culture, ethnicity and religion. Occasionally, Muslim theologians
allow deviations from the Muslim Sharia law when it serves other, more prevalent or important Muslim principles. The irony of Islamophobia is that it makes
it easy for Muslim minorities to remain culturally and religiously Muslim, just as
state- and church-driven anti-Semitism has done for the Jews of Europe.
An example that reflects the wish to preserve Muslim codes, but also highlights
the difficulties of Muslim integration in Western societies, is Tariq Ramadan’s
suggestion in March 2005