A Charismatic Church in a Post-Catholic Ireland: Negotiating Diversity at Abundant Life in Limerick City

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2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article analyses Abundant Life Christian Church in Limerick City, a multi-ethnic, Pentecostal/charismatic congregation in the Assemblies of God denomination. It provides insights about how religious groups are negotiating immigration and ethnic diversity and how charismatic expressions of Christianity are engaging in Ireland’s post-Catholic public sphere. The study revealed remarkably harmonious relationships between native Irish and immigrants of diverse backgrounds, which were built in large part on a leadership model in which one ethnic group did not hold significantly more power than others. The study also found that people at Abundant Life seemed anxious to establish their legitimacy as a Christian church, a concern that was rooted in previous, and even current, experience of Ireland as a ‘Catholic country’. Congregants displayed varying degrees of openness towards Catholicism, but what was striking was how often they described their own faith in contrast to Catholicism. The institution that is the Catholic Church in Ireland cast a long shadow over Abundant Life congregants’ own experience of Christianity and continues to define Ireland’s post-Catholic religious market.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-314
Number of pages12
JournalIrish Journal Of Sociology
Volume24
Issue number3
Early online date01 Jan 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2016

Keywords

  • Ireland
  • Religion
  • Charismatic Christianity
  • Pentecostal christians
  • Post-Catholic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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