The Fracturing of Christendom – The Reformation in Ireland 1530-1700
Saturday 4th March 2017
Tipperary County Museum,
Mick Delahunty Square,
Lectures will commence at 10.30am sharp.
Biography: Raymond Gillespie teaches in the department of history in Maynooth University. He is perhaps best known for his work in the area of local history but he has also written widely about the world of early modern Ireland. He is particularly interested in the cultural role of religion in that world and he is the author of, among other books, Devoted people: religion and belief in early modern Ireland (Manchester, 1997).
Synopsis: In the early part of the sixteenth geographical diversity vanished. The coming of the reformation to Ireland fragmented Christianity in a way that had never been seen before. Imposed from above it seemed initially as if the new reformed ideas would meet little resistance but gradually they became entangled with other developments to ensure that institutional religion in Ireland became a deeply divisive force in Irish society. Resurgent Catholicism and entrenched Protestantism clashed violently , most spectacularly in the outbreak of the rising of 1641. Yet behind this there is another story. While institutions changed quickly in response to reform and counter reformation pressures the ideas that shaped individual minds changed more slowly. In the midst of a turbulent world people tried to rebuild the religious structures that allowed them to make sense of their world and create a new religious experience. This is their story.