The Dynamics of Religious Difference in Contemporary Northern Ireland



Since the events of September 11 2001, the role of religious or theologically derived justifications for acts of violence have been reassessed in a manner akin to what Thomas Kuhn perhaps would have referred to as a ‘paradigm shift’.1 This paradigm shift is one in which the previously much neglected role of religion in conflict has now come to the fore.2


Church Leader Religious Difference Catholic Priest Protestant Church Irish Context 
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  1. 1.
    Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 3rd edn (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    David Herbert, ‘Shifting Securities in Northern Ireland: ‘Terror’ and the Troubles’ in global media and local memory’, European Journal of Cultural Studies, 10(3) (2006), 343–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 8.
    John Patrick Scullion was killed on 11 June 1966. See David McKittrick et al., Lost Lives: The Stories of the Men, Women and Children who Died as a Result of the Northern Ireland Troubles (Edinburgh and London: Mainstream, 1999), p. 25.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    Begona Aretaxga, Shattering Silence: Women, Nationalism and Political Subjectivity in Northern Ireland (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997).Google Scholar
  5. 21.
    Emile Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (London: Free Press, 1915).Google Scholar
  6. 38.
    Grace Davie, Religion in Britain since 1945: Believing without Belonging (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994).Google Scholar
  7. 42.
    Rosemary Sales, Gender, Religion and Politics in Northern Ireland (London and New York: Routledge, 1997).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 49.
    John Dunlop, A Precarious Belonging-.Presbyterians and the Conflict in Ireland (Belfast: Blackstaff Press, 1995), p. 96.Google Scholar
  9. 54.
    Richard Rose, ed., Governing Without Consensus: An Irish Perspective (London: Faber and Faber, 1971), p. 252.Google Scholar
  10. 63.
    For a mixture of perspectives on what motivated UDA/UFF members see Colin Crawford, Inside the UDA: Volunteers and Violence (London: Pluto Press, 2003).Google Scholar
  11. 66.
    Although this balance has been somewhat redressed recently. See, John D. Brewer, Gareth I. Higgins and Francis Teeney, Religion, Civil Society and Peace in Northern Ireland (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 73.
    Anthony Smith, Nationalism-.Theory Ideology, History (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2001), p. 33.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© John Bell 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Queen’s University BelfastUK

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