The History of The Religious Conflicts in Ireland

Religious Conflict in Ireland

Religion is a source of conflict all around the world.  This is incredibly evident throughout Irish history.  During the early days there was conflict between the ideas of the original Pagan beliefs and the beliefs of Catholicism that spread throughout Ireland.  Later there was conflict with the Catholics and Protestants.  These occurrences are important throughout the Irish history and shaped a large amount of the conflict within the country.  These can be seen throughout Irish literature and drama.  One example is the play Dancing at Lughnasa.  This play showed examples of everyday conflict religion played with in life.  The strictly religious Kate showed large amounts of disdain for the pagan traditions.  The disdain for the pagan traditions was no were near as strong as the hatred and conflict that was created by the the Catholic and Protestant conflicts.  The shear amount of hatred between the two churches was significant enough to possibly be seen as a war between the two factions.  These problems affect both women and men, who ever is opposing in beliefs would have been affected by the conflicts.  Things are commonly looked at from the man’s point of view as he typically is the one fighting but the women would also get significantly affected.  That can be shown through media like Dancing at Lughnasa and other Irish plays.  The internal conflicts that are created through the religious struggles in the area affect everyone.  



“Dancing at Lughnasa (Play) Plot & Characters.” StageAgent. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

AUFRECHTER, FABIEN. “Northern Ireland : Religious War or Social Conflict ?” Le Journal International. Le Journal International, 01 Sept. 2016. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.

“BBC – History – The Troubles.” BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.

Findwyer. “Saints, Scholars and Pagans? The Impact of Paganism on Medieval Irish Christianity.” Irish History Podcast. N.p., 30 Mar. 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.


4 thoughts on “The History of The Religious Conflicts in Ireland

  1. Cole St. Francis

    Nice abstract, I noticed that the conditions in Ireland are very similar to the conditions in China today. However, the disdain is not shown between one religious group to another; as most belief systems in China tend to mesh with one another. It’s actually the government that is showing disdain to the religious communities in China, particularly to any religious groups that is not one of the five official approved religions of China. This has been problematic for Chinese people with local folk religions, who are not apart of one of the official approved religions. This has been problematic for some of the Chinese, people who have belief systems regarding the existence of ghost, as the government has prevented them from performing the rituals necessary in order to appease or exorcise the wandering spirits in the community. Some provinces have been able to get around this, however by showing the government how much tourism their exorcising dances have brought in to the local community. Which is fascinating, the difference between two opposing religious ideologies that you mentioned in your above abstract, compared to an opposing religious and political ideology. Where as the two opposing religious ideologies can cause conflict, where as an opposing religious and political ideology can subvert conflict through economic rationalization.

  2. Jonathan Woodside

    During my time in my Istanbul class we talked a bit about religion, and I even did some research into the religion of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Although the difference here was instead of Pagans and Catholics, we focused on the religion of Christianity which was the major religion of the Byzantines which eventually got taken over by the religion of Islam and the Ottomans took over. When learning more about the religions of these empires we see that the Ottomans are much more active in using their religion to declare war on other cities. Like with the Siege of Vienna where the Ottomans declared Jihad on the city and planned to take it over. The conflicts in your abstract and what I had learned this semester are similar in that the religion was used a few times for personal gain of the empire and the possible expansion of the empire. I learned more about the types of warfare, weaponry and artillery which the Ottomans used during there several Jihads, and I found that to be an interesting topic to learn more about. So it’s interesting to read about similar conflicts between two religions that were constantly at odds with each other. Seeing a conflict like this be caused by something like religion, to me, just seems silly at that point and something that could have been avoided. If it was it’s interesting to think how history would have changed due to one conflict never existing.

  3. Anthony Taylor

    For my paper I looked at Wu Xing and how it relates back to both religion and the culture of Modern and Ancient China. This abstract reminds me of the way that China has gone through different eras of embracing and taking away religious freedoms. The conflict in the two churches that you mentioned in your abstract is very similar to the way that unsanctioned religions exist. Wu Xing was originally a big part of Daoism which is not a sanctioned religion in modern China and this causes the religious aspects of Wu Xing had to be made separate.

  4. Alex Taxiera

    Haitian Vodou is very much a product of one of these types of conflicts. Slaves from Africa were indoctrinated on Catholic views and while some of them took to them completely, some people were able to go through a syncretic process allowing the two belief systems to coincide and live together in their hearts. It is because of this that we see many lwa being comparable to Catholic saints, either by imagery or what the values of the saint or lwa were.


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