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  • Publication
    Catholic Identity in Contemporary Ireland: Belief and Belonging to Tradition
    (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2007)
    Holy Catholic Ireland is changing rapidly. Irish Catholics no longer have the same devotion to the Church that their parents had. While institutional affiliation and levels of belief remain high, there has been a decline in practice, particularly in the number going to Mass. This paper analyses recent changes in Catholic belief and practice, compares them with trends among other European Catholics, and links them to findings from a qualitative study of Contemporary Irish Identities. The changes in Irish Catholic religiosity can be associated with an ongoing detachment from the institutional church. An orthodox adherence to institutional rules and regulations appears to be giving way to a collective identification with a religious heritage. What was once defined as á la carte Catholicism seems to be giving way to a more smorgasbord approach in which Catholics not only pick and chose which institutional rules, beliefs and practices they prefer but, increasingly, mix these with ingredients from other religious traditions. These findings suggest a new typology of Irish Catholics.
      3667Scopus© Citations 81