Irish Identity and Religious Diversity

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To what extent does the new religious diversity in Ireland challenge traditional definitions of Irish national identity? Religious Change and Continuity. Harry M. Johnson (ed). Jossey – Bass Publishers, San Francisco Washington London (1979). William C. Shepherd, ‘Conversion and Adhesion’

(p252): “systems of thought do not just hover in thin, disembodied air; they are profoundly embedded in cultures and linked both to institutions and to other kinds of modes of thought” “It is a mistake to concentrate solely on the pessimistic strands” (p253): “new cults are springing up everywhere overnight, and new prophets and new hawkers are not slow to take advantage of the billowing market for religious vendibles” (p261): “Emphasis on the specific intellectual content of a religious preference is less and less significant in most contemporary religious movements. A kind of deliberate vagueness characterizes institutional Christianity, while deliberate flux and interweaving are the marks of polysymbolic religiosity.” Harry M. Johnson, ‘Religion in Social Change and Social Evolution’ (p313): “a religion is a kind of code, model, or paradigm that shapes or patterns a more or less “total” way of life: inner experience, action, and judgement.” (p314): “Because of its tendency to be comprehensive and cultural (rather than utterly unique to individuals), religion must have implications for social life; an important aspect of its code is moral.” (p316): “This fusion of political and religious authority...” Perspectives on New Religious Movements. John A. Saliba. Geoffrey Chapman, London (1995). (pvii): “The rise of religious and spiritual movements is a complex phenomenon that involves many different facets of Western cultural and religious life.” “Because they are non-traditional and marginal, new religious groups can easily appear to be a threatening force that lies beyond comprehension and control.” (X) Religion and Everyday Life. Stephen Hunt. Routledge, New York Canada (2005). (X) (p93): “Over previous centuries Christianity provided important political, educational and social functions, and claimed, nominally at least, the allegiance of a great mass of the population. Many people ‘went to church’ as the foundation of religious and social affiliation. Village and small-town life was often dominated by the local church which, in many instances, was situated, geographically speaking, at the centre of community life. Infants were baptized there, while the inscriptions on the graves in the churchyard were a constant reminder of those who had ‘passed on’ into ‘the Lord’s keeping’. Today, however, much has changed, and this is demonstrated by the decline of the Christian Sabbath. Sunday is no longer ‘the Lord’s Day’. (p95): “church attendance remains impressive in Northern Ireland (nearing 50 per cent) for largely historical reasons.” (X) “In recent history, Catholicism viewed the modern world with much more suspicion, and, as a result, managed to keep up its cognitive defences against modernity more effectively until a more recent date.” Lambert, Y. (2004) ‘A turning Point in Religious Evolution in Europe’, Journal of Contemporary Religion, 19 (1): 204-15. (p101): “Lambert concludes that, in contrast to the rather homogenous evolution which was observable until the 1980s, the situation now is one of more and more diversity according to country.” (p123): “While the connection between faith and ethnicity comes into clear relief, the level of controversy generated is related to severable variables: the attitude of the population, state policy, the faith of the ethnic grouping itself, and significant global events.” (X) Irish Values & Attitudes The Irish Report of the European Values Study. Michael Fogarty, Liam Ryan, Joseph Lee. Dominican Publications, Dublin Ireland. (1984) (X) (p8): “The first, and correct, impression when religious beliefs and practice in Ireland are compared with those in Britain or in Europe as a whole is that Ireland...
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