The Historical Dimensions of Irish Catholicism
Throughout the nineteenth century, the phenomenon of "Irish Catholicism" became an important part of the religious landscape in the entire English-speaking world. Extending beyond the Roman Catholic Church in England and Scotland, the developing values and mores of Irish Catholicism strongly influenced the Church in the United States and many other English-speaking countries. In an effort to better understand the phenomenon, Emmet Larkin attempts to explain how the Church was able to acquire such considerable power and influence in nineteenth-century Ireland. This volume, originally published in 1976 and reprinted with a new introduction in 1984, is the partial fruit of Emmet Larkin's lifetime study of the history of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland.
In three short essays (first published as articles in The American Historical Review), Larkin analyzes the economic, social, and political context of nineteenth-century Ireland. He studies the growth of the Church's economic power in Ireland, the "1850-1875 devotional revolution" in which the Irish people became virtually practicing Catholics within a generation, and the extent of the Church's political power and influence over Ireland. Larkin's introduction provides a critical assessment of his previous interpretations and a guide to more recent scholarly research.
Emmet Larkin is professor of history at the University of Chicago. He is the author of numerous works, including The Roman Catholic Church and the Creation of the Modern Irish State, 1878-1885 (1975), The Roman Catholic Church and the Home Rule Movement in Ireland, 1870-1875 (1990), and The Roman Catholic Church and the Emergence of the Modern Irish Political System, 1874-1878 (1996).
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