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.
Oliver P. Rafferty teaches church history at Heythrop College, University of London
Introduction - Oliver P. Rafferty Part I: The Celts, Catholicism and the middle ages 1. Gaelic and Catholic in the early middle ages - Bernhard Maier 2. Island of saints and scholars: myth or reality? - Donnchadh O Corrain 3. The devotional landscape of medieval Irish cultural Catholicism inter hibernicos et inter anglicos, c.1200-c.1550 - Salvador Ryan Part II: Early modern struggles 4. Irish political Catholicism from the 1530s to 1660 - David Finnegan 5. The 'absenting of the bishop of Armagh': Eucharistic controversy and the English origins of Irish Catholic identity, 1550-51 - James Murray 6. Henry Fitzsimon, the Irish Jesuits and Catholic identity in the early modern period - Brian Jackson 7. Gaelic Catholicism and the Ulster plantation - Raymond Gillespie Part III: Identity formation in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries 8. Irish-language sources for Irish Catholic identity since the early modern period: a brief survey -Eamonn O Ciardha 9. The penal laws against Irish Catholics: were they too good for them? - Thomas Bartlett Part IV: Culture, women and the American diaspora 10. Irish Catholic culture in the nineteenth century: a study in perjury - Owen Dudley Edwards 11. The voices of Catholic women in Ireland, 1800-1921 - Caitriona Clear 12. Irish diaspora Catholicism in North America - David Doyle Part V: English Catholics and Irish identity 13. Brethren in Christ: Frederick Lucas and social Catholicism in Ireland - Patrick Maume 14. The 'greening' of Cardinal Manning - Fergal Casey Part VI: Faith, wealth and Catholic Unionism 15. Power, wealth and Catholic identity in Ireland, 1850-1900 - Ciaran O'Neill 16. The Esmonde family of Co. Wexford and Catholic loyalty - Richard Keogh and James McConnel 17. Catholic Unionism: a case study: Sir Denis Stanislaus Henry (1864-1925) - Eamon Phoenix Part VII: Contemporary expressions of Catholic and Irish identity 18. Identity and political fragmentation in independent Ireland, 1923-83 - Louise Fuller 19. Secular prayers: Catholic imagination, modern Irish writing and the case of John McGahern - Frank Shovlin 20. Catholic-Christian identity and modern Irish poetry - Bernard O'Donoghue 21. Northern Catholics and the early years of the Troubles - Oliver P. Rafferty 22. Irish identity and the future of Catholicism - Niall Coll Index
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