Fundamentalism in interwar Northern Ireland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Political and social scientists of the Troubles after 1968 have recognized in Ian Paisley the formidable relationship between fundamentalism and opposition to any weakening of the position of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom. Yet any discussion of fundamentalism in the region must begin in the interwar period with the formation of the state, the evangelist William Patteson Nicholson, and the ‘heresy trial’ of a professor in the Presbyterian Church. Is George Marsden correct to suggest that a distinctive form of Ulster fundamentalism emerged during that period? Can it be reduced to political identity? This chapter argues that the focus on politics and the overuse by scholars of the term ‘fundamentalism’ obscures a more significant interdenominational, evangelical subculture that was anti-modernist, and could be militant, but which was moderated by commitments to evangelism, spiritual renewal, and denominational loyalty.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford handbook of Christian fundamentalism
EditorsAndrew Atherstone , David Ceri Jones
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780191880148
ISBN (Print)9780198844594
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2023


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