April 24, 2020
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$65.00 USD
v2.1 Reference

Seamus Heaney and the End of Catholic Ireland

Seamus Heaney & the End of Catholic Ireland takes off from the poet's growing awareness in the new millennium of "something far more important in my mental formation than cultural nationalism or the British presence or any of that stuff—namely, my early religious education." It then pursues an examination of the full trajectory of Heaney's religious beliefs as represented in his poetry, prose, and interviews, with a briefer account of the interactive religious histories of the Irish and international contexts in which he lived. Thus, in the 1940s and 50s, Heaney was inducted into the narrow, punitive, but also enabling Catholicism of the era. In the early 1960s he was witness to the lively religious debates from the Anglican Bishop of Woolwich's Honest to God to the seismic disruptions of Vatican II. When the conflict in Northern Ireland between Catholics and Protestants broke out, Heaney was forced to dig deep for an imaginative understanding of its religious roots. From the 1980s on, Heaney more and more proclaimed his own religious loss while also recognizing the institution's residual value in an Irish society of rising prosperity, weariness with the atrocities of a partly religion-inspired IRA, and beset by the scandals of sex abuse among the clergy.

Kieran Quinlan sees Heaney as an exemplar of this period of major change in Ireland as he engaged the religious issue not only in major writers such as James Joyce, W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Philip Larkin, and Czeslaw Miłosz, but also in a diverse array of less familiar commentators lay and clerical, creative and academic, believers and unbelievers, Irish and international. Breaking new ground by expanding the scope of Heaney's religious preoccupations and writing in an accessible, reflective, and sometimes provocative manner, Quinlan's study places Heaney in his universe, and that universe in turn in its wider intellectual setting.

About the Author

Kieran Quinlan is a professor of English at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is the author of John Crowe Ransom's Secular Faith (1989), Walker Percy, the Last Catholic Novelist (1996), and Strange Kin: Ireland and the American South (2005).


"Heaney is a canonical figure and hence there is a definite audience for this book. Any undergraduate courses where his work is taught should be directed to this work, as it is an indispensable reference point."—Eamon Maher, Director, National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies, Irish Institute of Technology

9780813232713 : seamus-heaney-and-the-end-of-catholic-ireland-quinlan
April 24, 2020
$65.00 USD

Other Titles in LITERARY CRITICISM / Poetry

Paradise Lost

Michael Cavanagh
Feb 2020 - The Catholic University of America Press
$29.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Approaches to Teaching Dante's Divine Comedy

edited by Christopher Kleinhenz, Kristina Olson
Feb 2020 - Modern Language Association of America
$29.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$65.00 USD - Hardback

Time for Childhoods

Rachel Conrad
Nov 2019 - University of Massachusetts Press
$90.00 USD - Hardback
$29.95 USD - Paperback / softback