The career of the Revd Ian Paisley raises vital questions about the links between religion and politics in the modern world. Paisley is unique in having founded his own church and party and led both to success, so that he effectively has a veto over political developments in Northern Ireland. Steve Bruce draws on over 20 years of close acquaintance with Paisley's people to describe and explain Paisleyism. In this clearly written account, Bruce charts Paisley's
movement from the maverick fringes to the centre of Ulster politics and discusses in detail the changes in his party that accompanied its rise. At the heart of this account are vital questions for modern societies. How can religion and politics mix? Do different religions produce different sorts of
politics? What is clear is that Paisley's people are not jihadis intent on imposing their religion on the unGodly. For all that religion plays a vital part in Paisley's personal political drive and explains some of his success, he plays by the rules of liberal democracy.
Newly published in paperback with an afterword discussing the achievement of the devolved executive and Paisley's period as First Minister in the new Assembly.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 326
Weight: 411 g
Dimensions: 215 x 138 x 18 mm
throughly grounded in the sociology of religion, setting Paisleyism within a wider British context of secularization...written in a manner that is accessible for undergraduates or popular readers; even Bruce's sociological writing is done with a light touch. * Gladys Ganiel, British Journal of Sociology *
Steve Bruce has presented a compelling, if sometimes surprising, account of the life of one of the leading and most successful British politicians of recent times, and it should dispel many of the misconceptions that exist about Nothern Ireland. * David Ceri Jones Planet The Welsh Internationalist *
Steve Bruce is heavily preoccuipied with the interplay of religion and politics. But the story he tells is above all one of extraordinary personal and political stamina...Bruce argues persuasively that something special and outside the successful politician's usual equipment is required to fail as oftern as Paisley failed, to be immune to hatred he has provoked and yet to keep going to the end and to outlast your opponents. * George Brock TLS *