Ireland after secularization

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This chapter analyses Ireland, north and south, ‘after secularization’. It outlines theoretical approaches to secularization and explores indicators of secularization in Ireland. It argues that although both parts of Ireland remain more religious than most of Europe—Northern Ireland more so than the Republic—both are approaching typical European levels of secularization. It explores factors that have contributed to secularization, and analyses how religion has persisted. Finally, it explores the changing role of religion during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is evidence both for an acceleration of secularization, and an intensification of religiosity among those who attended religious services prior to the pandemic. These trends are not necessarily contradictory. In fact, these trends were already underway, and the pandemic may accelerate their development, leading to a greater divide between those for whom faith is important, and those for whom it is not.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford handbook of religion in modern Ireland
EditorsGladys Ganiel , Andrew R. Holmes
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191905162
ISBN (Print)9780198868699
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2024


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