Church, state and social science in Ireland

Knowledge institutions and the rebalancing of power, 1937–73

by Peter Murray, Maria Feeney

Description
The immense power the Catholic Church once wielded in Ireland has considerably diminished over the last fifty years. During the same period the Irish state has pursued new economic and social development goals by wooing foreign investors and throwing the state's lot in with an ever-widening European integration project. How a less powerful church and a more assertive state related to one another during the key third quarter of the twentieth century is the subject of this book. Drawing on newly available material, it looks at how social science, which had been a church monopoly, was taken over and bent to new purposes by politicians and civil servants. This case study casts new light on wider processes of change, and the story features a strong and somewhat surprising cast of characters ranging from Sean Lemass and T.K. Whitaker to Archbishop John Charles McQuaid and Father Denis Fahey.
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Endorsements

This book examines how the balance of power between the Irish state and the Catholic Church has shifted since the middle of the twentieth century, through a case study of knowledge institutions engaged in social science teaching and research. Inhabiting a sphere once monopolised by the Church, such institutions became increasingly aligned with state projects from the end of the 1950s. As a result, when the Church later sought to use sociological arguments to resist liberalising changes in law and policy, opposing views were able to claim the legitimacy of expertise and the issue of public trust became crucial. This is the first book to examine church-state relations in detail since John Whyte's seminal study Church and State in Modern Ireland was revised in 1980. Since then both Church and state archives have been opened and a mass of important new material has become available to scholars. This material supports a significantly different interpretation of the dynamics of the church-state relationship to that put forward by Whyte. With a cast of characters as diverse as Sean Lemass, T. K. Whitaker, Archbishop John Charles McQuaid and Father Denis Fahey, Church, state and social science in Ireland will appeal to a wide readership interested in modern Irish history. It is also aimed at academics and students for whom it can serve as a textbook on national and international contexts of the emergence of the contemporary 'developmental' Irish state.

Reviews

This book examines how the balance of power between the Irish state and the Catholic Church has shifted since the middle of the twentieth century, through a case study of knowledge institutions engaged in social science teaching and research. Inhabiting a sphere once monopolised by the Church, such institutions became increasingly aligned with state projects from the end of the 1950s. As a result, when the Church later sought to use sociological arguments to resist liberalising changes in law and policy, opposing views were able to claim the legitimacy of expertise and the issue of public trust became crucial. This is the first book to examine church-state relations in detail since John Whyte's seminal study Church and State in Modern Ireland was revised in 1980. Since then both Church and state archives have been opened and a mass of important new material has become available to scholars. This material supports a significantly different interpretation of the dynamics of the church-state relationship to that put forward by Whyte. With a cast of characters as diverse as Sean Lemass, T. K. Whitaker, Archbishop John Charles McQuaid and Father Denis Fahey, Church, state and social science in Ireland will appeal to a wide readership interested in modern Irish history. It is also aimed at academics and students for whom it can serve as a textbook on national and international contexts of the emergence of the contemporary 'developmental' Irish state.

Bibliographic Information
  • Pub date: November 2018
  • 9781526121721 / 1526121727
  • United Kingdom
  • Manchester University Press
  • Readership: General/trade; College/higher education; Professional and scholarly
  • Publish State: Published
  • Dimensions: 234 X 156 mm
  • Reference Code: 8734