Show Less
Restricted access

Love's Betrayal

The Decline of Catholicism and Rise of New Religions in Ireland

Peter Mulholland

This book provides a detailed analysis of the decline of Catholicism and the almost simultaneous surge of new religious movements in Ireland during the second half of the twentieth century. After chronicling the sudden emergence of these new religious movements, some of which were associated with New Age spirituality, and considering the reactions they elicited in the Irish media and from religious and academic observers, the author explores the cultural, socioeconomic and political context in which they flourished.

Taking its title from President Mary McAleese’s response to the Ryan Report on clerical child abuse, the book traces the «systemic betrayal of the great Christian commandment to love one another» back through Irish history and into the heart of Catholic theology. It argues that the theology that transformed the «cult» of early Christianity into a great civilising power was implicated in the development of an authoritarian regime, and that this regime was undermining the faith and fostering interest in alternative spiritualities for decades before the abuse scandals of the 1990s brought the Church to its knees.

Table of contents