Redéfinition d’une Institution Désacralisée
AVANT PROPOS - FOREWORD
It is a great pleasure for me to write a Foreword to this important study of the challenges besetting the Catholic Church in the Republic of Ireland at the moment. This is a subject in which I have been interested for quite some time, an interest that resulted in my co-editing a number of books which attempt to tease out how a society as apparently loyal to Catholicism as Ireland was for centuries, could in the space of a few decades go so far down the road of secularism. Dr Vandewoude, through painstaking research undertaken while writing up her PhD thesis and updated since then, brings a fresh and original analysis to bear on this complex issue. I had the privilege of being a member of the ‘Jury’ for her ‘soutenance’ and I could see even then the value of the thesis being made into a book. However, we all know that PhD theses are not written with a general readership in mind: they tend to be dry, academic, self-conscious in their construction and presentation. It is to Dr Vandewoude’s credit that she recognised this and produced a book that is radically different from the original thesis: this means that it will be read by experts and non-experts with equal profit and enjoyment. The last decade of the twentieth century and the first of the new millennium saw the emergence of the highly publicised ‘Celtic Tiger’. Unprecedented economic prosperity does not always sit comfortably with a religious sensibility and so...
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