Irish evangelicals and the British evangelical community, 1820s-1870s

Holmes, Janice (2005). Irish evangelicals and the British evangelical community, 1820s-1870s. In: Murphy, James H. ed. Evangelicals and Catholics in Nineteenth-Century Ireland. Dublin: Four Courts Press, pp. 209–222.

Abstract

Evangelicalism in the nineteenth-century was sustained across the trans-atlantic world by a range of networks and support structures. In Ireland, two types of evangelical networks - the 'co-ordinative' and the 'conversionist' operated quite differently. Within 'co-ordinative' networks, the 'Irishness' of Ireland's evangelical community was largely disregarded. Shared religious values and theological emphasis superceded issues of national identity and sense of place. What mattered here was not one's secular but one's spiritual cizienship. Within 'conversionist' networks, however, Ireland's geographic distinctiveness and the presence of a large body of Irish Catholics meant that the relationship to British evangelicalism would always be a self-conscious one. British evangelicals could be massively ignorant about the religious situation in Ireland and veer widely off course in their ethnic and religious assumptions. For their part, Irish evangelicals could never quite hide their sense of religious isolation in what was so self-evidently a Catholic nation.

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