The orthodox interpretation of Northern Irish evangelicalism equates Paisleyism with evangelicalism. Rev. Ian Paisley’s critics keep a running tally of his “sins,” which range from blanket accusations that he was responsible for starting the Troubles, that he has used religious rhetoric to incite loyalist paramilitaries to violence, and that he leads a political party that refuses to share power with Catholics.1 All evangelicals have been judged guilty by association. This has meant that evangelicals have been considered barriers to the Northern Ireland peace process, so much so that other secular and religious actors have argued for their exclusion from the public sphere.
KeywordsCivil Society Public Sphere Religious Actor Moral Issue British Government
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