Pulpit to Public: Church Leaders on a Post-Brexit Island

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This article explores church leaders' contributions to public debates about a post-Brexit island. It analyses the work of Corrymeela and the Irish Council of Churches/Irish Inter Church Meeting (ICC/IICM); and the Church Leaders' Group, which is comprised of the Catholic and Church of Ireland archbishops of Armagh, the Presbyterian moderator, the Methodist president and the president of ICC. These groups' main contributions have been their discursive framing of Brexit, reconciliation, and dealing with the past as inter-related; and organising facilitated dialogues around these issues. It argues that church leaders have brought the past into debates about the future. But the effectiveness of this move may be determined by their ability to extend debate about dealing with the past to both sides of the border, and on their willingness to address their own past failures, including their contributions to division and violence, and the legacy of church abuse.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-587
JournalIrish Studies in International Affairs
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2021


  • Religion
  • Brexit
  • Dealing with the past
  • Northern Ireland
  • ireland
  • Churches

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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