Louise Fuller Irish Catholicism Since 1950

ISBN 13: 9780717131563

Irish Catholicism Since 1950

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9780717131563: Irish Catholicism Since 1950

The Roman Catholic Church has been the most significant social institution in modern Ireland. This new historical study, which combines chronological and thematic approaches, traces its fortunes from its apogee around 1950 to its current condition of self-doubt and decline. Louise Fuller sets the Church's role in its historical perspective before considering the triumphant institution of the 1950s. It was a Church of piety and ritual: mass attendance, church building, processions, pilgrimages, the erection of crosses, statues and grottos, the widespread dissemination of devotional literature and the cult of indulgences were its distinguishing characteristics. The rising prosperity of the '60s, plus the effects of the Vatican Council, began the liberalisation of Irish society. The bishops reacted defensively. Their conservatism stimulated the emergence of a Catholic intelligentsia, propagating more liberal attitudes and championing the "new" theology. The '70s and '80s saw a Church more open to liberation theology, to ecumenism and to issues of justice and peace generally, albeit change was gradual and piecemeal. The real revolution did not come until the 1990s, when a succession of clerical sexual scandals fatally subverted the unique moral authority of the Church, which had been its greatest strength. This is a substantial survey of an important subject.

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About the Author:

Dr Louise Fuller is a graduate of University College, Dublin and the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. She is a teacher in a Dublin community school.

Review:

"Of interest to anyone who is aware of the historic role of the church in our society..." -- Sunday Tribune, Ireland

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Fuller, Louise
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