The career of the Revd Ian Paisley raises vital questions about the links between religion and politics in the modern world. Paisley is unique in having founded his own church and party and led both to success, so that he effectively has a veto over political developments in Northern Ireland. Steve Bruce draws on over 20 years of close acquaintance with Paisley's people to describe and explain Paisleyism. In this clearly written account, Bruce charts Paisley's movement from the maverick fringes to the centre of Ulster politics and discusses in detail the changes in his party that accompanied its rise. At the heart of this account are vital questions for modern societies. How can religion and politics mix? Do different religions produce different sorts of politics? What is clear is that Paisley's people are not jihadis intent on imposing their religion on the unGodly. For all that religion plays a vital part in Paisley's personal political drive and explains some of his success, he plays by the rules of liberal democracy.
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(222mm x 146mm x 21mm)
Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Author Biography - Steve Bruce
Steve Bruce has been Professor of Sociology at the University of Aberdeen since 1991; he previously taught at The Queen's University, Belfast. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2003 and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2005. He is the author of 20 books on the sociology of religion, religion and politics, and terrorism, including: God Save Ulster: The Religion and Politics of Paisleyism (Oxford, 1986); The Red Hand: Loyalist Paramilitaries in Northern Ireland (Oxford, 1992); Fundamentalism (Polity, 2001); and Politics and Religion (Polity, 2003).