This is a completely revised and updated edition of Inglis's classic and controversial book of 1987. He provides a clear and cogent explanation of how the Church came to hold such a powerful position in Irish society. The decline in its control of what is said and done has been central to the decline in the Church's monopoly on morality, as the author demonstrates in a new chapter.
Religious habitus of Irish Catholics
church organization and control
power and the Catholic church in Irish social, political and economic life
growth of the power of the institutional church in 19th-century Ireland
Irish civilizing process
transformation of Irish society
the Irish mother
decline in the Catholic church monopoly on Irish morality, 1986-97
influence of the Catholic church on modern Irish society.
"This is a fascinating and very readable study of the growth and diminution of the Church's influence over all aspects of life in Ireland from the beginning of the last century up to the present."
The Irish Emigrant Book Review March 1998
"This fine book avoids the juvenile tendency prevalent in recent times, to deride the Catholic Church. Even when Inglis criticises the Church he does so with reasoned arguments and non-hysterical tone. As a result he valuably contributes to debate on the Church's future in Ireland."
Denis Carroll RTE Guide Sept 1998
"This is a fascinating and very readable study of the growth and diminution of the Church's influence over all aspects of life in Ireland from the beginning of the last century up to the present day."
Boston Irish Reporter May 1998