Violence, Politics and Catholicism in Ireland (Four Courts Press, 2016) is a collection of essays that looks at the interrelated themes of Catholicism, violence and politics in the Irish context in the 19th and 20th centuries. Authored by Director of Irish Programs Oliver P. Rafferty, SJ, a professor of modern Irish and ecclesiastical history, the volume covers topics such as religious perceptions of the Famine, Cardinal Cullen’s role in shaping the ethos of Irish Catholicism and the role of memory—including religious memory—in Irish violence. Fr. Rafferty also turns his attention to the largely unsuccessful efforts expended by institutional Catholicism in trying to curb the violent propensities of the Fenians in the 19th century and the IRA in the 20th. Ironically, he contends, Catholicism had greater achievements to boast of in its influence in the British Empire as a whole than over its wayward flock in Ireland. Fr. Rafferty’s previous books include The Catholic Church and the Protestant State: Nineteenth-century Irish realities and George Tyrrell and Catholic Modernism.
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