The Voice of the Irish: The Story of Christian Ireland

Overview

Religious beliefs and spiritual traditions have molded Ireland's past and present in spectacular ways. Ranging across a rich tapestry, from early Celtic culture to the Christian missionaries, from the Golden Age of monastic life to the diverse influence of the Vikings and the Normans, the Reformation, the wars of religion, to the people now engaged in the Peace Process, The Voice of the Irish offers a balanced account of the religious, social and political life of the Irish. A sweeping history of faith in ...
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Overview

Religious beliefs and spiritual traditions have molded Ireland's past and present in spectacular ways. Ranging across a rich tapestry, from early Celtic culture to the Christian missionaries, from the Golden Age of monastic life to the diverse influence of the Vikings and the Normans, the Reformation, the wars of religion, to the people now engaged in the Peace Process, The Voice of the Irish offers a balanced account of the religious, social and political life of the Irish. A sweeping history of faith in Ireland, it brings to life the island's people and events, including the legacy of pagan Celtic spirituality, the real and the legendary St. Patrick, the religious roots of English involvement in Ireland, the Famine and new life in America, the origins of the Troubles in the North, and predicts a future between tradition and modernity.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The fascination with Celtic spirituality continues unabated. Long before Christianity moved into Ireland, pagan spirituality prospered on this British Isle, and prepared the ground for the flowering of Irish Christianity. Staunton provides a helpful survey of the development of Christianity in Ireland. Opening his overview with a chapter on paganism and the movement of the Celts into Ireland from the Mediterranean, he describes the earliest forms of Irish Christianity under Patrick and Palladius the Deacon, then narrates the story through the Reformation and the 19th century and up to the present. In its earliest expressions, Irish Christianity differed from Roman Christianity primarily in its organization: Irish Christianity did not develop a bishopric, but instead grew out of the monastic movement whose form was more egalitarian. Consequently, Irish Christianity tended to focus on study and learning, a hallmark that culminated in the illustration of sacred texts in the Middle Ages. Staunton examines the conflicts between Protestants and Catholics in the 20th century and finds that Catholicism is on the wane in Ireland in this new century. He concludes that while the future of Christianity in Ireland looks bleak, Irish Christianity can rejuvenate itself by heeding the lessons of the past and interacting more fully with the political and social lives of its people. Staunton's evenhanded and objective historical survey provides a useful introduction to a significant chapter of religious history. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In exploring the impact of Irish Christianity on the island's history, Staunton (history, Univ. Coll. Dublin) follows a path trod by many before him, focusing on issues of church and state. Hence the usual topics are addressed-St. Patrick and Celtic Christianity, the church reforms following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the penal laws and Catholic emancipation, and the socio-political conflicts leading to the creation of Northern Ireland, among others. The role of Protestant Christianity in Ireland is addressed as well, although such efforts are less successful. Much attention is given to Anglicanism and Presbyterianism, but little attention is given to Methodism or other smaller bodies. Also ignored are cross-community events with long-term impact, such as the Revival of 1859 or the various ecumenical conversations. Even so, the present work is well researched, well written, and eminently readable. It will prove to be a useful introduction to the topic for lay readers. Recommended for theological libraries, academic libraries, and larger public libraries with holdings in Irish political and religious history.-Christopher Brennan, SUNY Coll. at Brockport Lib. Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587680229
  • Publisher: HiddenSpring
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
I Before Christianity 5
Prehistoric Ireland 6
The Celts 9
The Gods of the Celts 13
II St. Patrick and the Coming of Christianity 19
Patrick the Briton 19
Palladius the Deacon 26
The Beginnings of the Irish Church 29
Armagh and the Legend of St. Patrick 36
III Saints and Scholars 45
Brigid and Brendan 46
Colmcille and Columbanus 53
Monastic Life and Learning 59
The Vikings 63
IV The Anglo-Norman Church 71
Twelfth-Century Reform 73
St. Malachy and the New Religious Orders 78
The Coming of the Normans 83
The Decline of the Norman Church 88
V Reformation and Revolution 97
The Tudor Reformation 98
Counter-Reformation and Conquest 104
Protestant Identity 111
Wars of Religion 117
VI Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter 127
The Penal Era 128
The Ascendancy 135
Radical Politics 142
The 1798 Rebellion 146
VII The Making of Modern Christianity 153
Popular Religion 154
Emancipation and "The Liberator" 161
The Famine 169
The Irish in America 174
Religious Revolutions 177
The Churches and Politics 181
VIII The Union and the Nation 191
Ulster Unionism 191
Irish Nationalism 198
Catholic Ireland 207
The Divided Province 216
IX Into the New Millennium 225
The Troubles 225
Northern Ireland: A Religious Conflict? 232
Ever Faithful? 238
Peace in the North? 247
The End of Catholic Ireland 253
Conclusion 259
Endnotes and Further Reading 263
Picture Credits 276
Index 277
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