Evangelicalism and National Identity in Ulster, 1921-1998

Synopsis

Evangelical Protestantism in Ulster is the most influential and historically significant sector of Christianity in Northern Ireland. This innovative and controversial book explores different Evangelical responses to the declining fate of Ulster Unionism during the period from Partition in 1921to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. Focusing on how religious belief has interacted with national identity in a context of political conflict, it eschews a reductionist or purely historical approach to interpreting religion. Rather, using a combination of historical and theological material, PatrickMitchel offers a critical assessment of how Evangelical identities in Ulster have embodied the religious beliefs and values to which they subscribe. Evangelical Protestantism is often associated only with the Orange Order and with the controversial figure of Ian Paisley. This book's fresh analysisof a spectrum of Evangelical opinion, including the frequently overlooked moderate Evangelicals, provides a more rounded picture that shows why and how Evangelical Christians in Ulster are deeply divided over politics, national identity, and the current Peace Process. Patrick Mitchel concludes witha critical assessment of the political and theological challenges facing different Evangelical identities in the context of identity conflict in Northern Ireland. This is an invaluable guide to understanding both the past and contemporary mindset of Ulster Protestantism.

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