What does it mean to be Irish? Are the predicates Catholic and Irish so inextricably linked that it is impossible to have one and not the other? Does the process of secularisation in modern times mean that Catholicism is no longer a touchstone of what it means to be Irish? Indeed was such a paradigm ever true? These are among the fundamental issues addressed in this work, which examines whether distinct identity formation can be traced over time.
The book delineates the course of historical developments which complicated the process of identity formation in the Irish context, when by turns Irish Catholics saw themselves as battling against English hegemony or the Protestant Reformation. Without doubt the Reformation era cast a long shadow over how Irish Catholics would see themselves. But the process of identity formation was of much longer duration.
Newly available in paperback, this work traces the elements which have shaped how the Catholic Irish identified themselves, and explores the political, religious and cultural dimensions of the complex picture which is Irish Catholic identity. The essays represent a systematic attempt to explore the fluidity of the components that make up Catholic identity in Ireland.
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 558 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 21 mm
It is a volume to which someone such as myself, with a genuine fascination for the subject matter, is immediately attracted, but there is plenty between its covers for anyone even remotely interested in the interplay between religion and identity.
'The editor of this book must be commended for focusing our attention on amuch-neglected field. The collection reflects something of the state of the artin the study of Irish identity formation and has much of interest for studentsof Irish history. It is certainly a subject that requires furtherconsideration.'
Henry A. Jefferies, Ulster University, Irish Economic and Social History 44 (1) -- .