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Irish Catholic Fiction of the Early Twentieth Century: The Power of Imagery

Irish Catholic Fiction of the Early Twentieth Century: The Power of Imagery Ann Wilson Between 1850 and 1875, the Catholic church in Ireland had put a great deal of work into bringing Irish Catholicism into line with Roman Tridentine standards, a process that has been termed the "Devotional Revolution."1 Practices seen as irregular or undesirable--such as some of those associated with traditional wakes and patterns--had been largely, although not entirely, eliminated or absorbed into more conventional religious practice, and ritual had become highly regulated and for the most part confined within the many new church buildings spread throughout the country. An important aspect of Tridentine Catholicism was obedience to papal authority, a focus on the Roman center that marked the Catholic church (unlike other Christian denominations) as a unified international or supra-national entity. During the nineteenth century, the type of Catholicism promoted by the papacy was what Patrick Corish has called "neoTridentine": emotional and often anti-intellectual, with a significant emphasis on paraliturgical devotional practices--at times, he argues, "to the neglect of the more solid fare of the Bible and the liturgy."2 In Ireland, this devotional Catholicism was enthusiastically promoted and adopted. Religious imagery, mainly statues and pictures, was central to its spiritual vocabulary. Irish popular piety was therefore redirected from http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png New Hibernia Review Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas

Irish Catholic Fiction of the Early Twentieth Century: The Power of Imagery

New Hibernia Review , Volume 18 (1) – Mar 15, 2014

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Publisher
Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of St. Thomas.
ISSN
1534-5815
Publisher site
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Abstract

Ann Wilson Between 1850 and 1875, the Catholic church in Ireland had put a great deal of work into bringing Irish Catholicism into line with Roman Tridentine standards, a process that has been termed the "Devotional Revolution."1 Practices seen as irregular or undesirable--such as some of those associated with traditional wakes and patterns--had been largely, although not entirely, eliminated or absorbed into more conventional religious practice, and ritual had become highly regulated and for the most part confined within the many new church buildings spread throughout the country. An important aspect of Tridentine Catholicism was obedience to papal authority, a focus on the Roman center that marked the Catholic church (unlike other Christian denominations) as a unified international or supra-national entity. During the nineteenth century, the type of Catholicism promoted by the papacy was what Patrick Corish has called "neoTridentine": emotional and often anti-intellectual, with a significant emphasis on paraliturgical devotional practices--at times, he argues, "to the neglect of the more solid fare of the Bible and the liturgy."2 In Ireland, this devotional Catholicism was enthusiastically promoted and adopted. Religious imagery, mainly statues and pictures, was central to its spiritual vocabulary. Irish popular piety was therefore redirected from

Journal

New Hibernia ReviewCenter for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas

Published: Mar 15, 2014

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