The study of pre-19th-century religion in Ireland has been dominated by a model which sees the extended pilgrimages and rituals performed at holy wells as remnants of an archaic, pagan tradition. The author of this study argues these rites were not ancient, but arose in the wake of the Reformation as ordinary Catholics attempted to merge ideas imported from Counter-Reformation Europe with distinctively Irish traditions. The variant that resulted provided a religious experience that appealed to all levels of Irish Catholic society, in both rural and urban areas - peasants and city dwellers alike thought pilgrimages essential to their identity as Irish Catholics. In the years just before the Famine, however, the structure of society changed, and the appeal of this variant would ultimately dissolve. A social, historical and psychological study of religion, history and literature in Romantic Ireland, the book is the story of a people struggling to express their religious identities in ways that were both impeccably Catholic and yet distinctively Irish.
Buy Irish Pilgrimage book by Michael P. Carroll from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(229mm x 152mm x 22mm)
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
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Author Biography - Michael P. Carroll
Michael P. Carroll is in the Department of Sociology at the University of Western Ontario.