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‘Belief shifts’: Ireland’s referendum and the journey from gemeinschaft to gesellschaft (Pre-print version)
O'Brien, Eugene
I would begin this chapter with two pieces of narrative: one from fantasy literature and one from recent political discourse. The fantasy writer Terry Pratchett wrote a book in his Discworld series about religion, gods and belief entitled Small Gods. In the Discworld, he created a country called Omnia, a theocracy within which everyone and everything revolved around the worship of the Great God Om. Omnianism was the hegemonic ideological position in this country, and the capital city was made in the image of the Great God Om: It extended for miles, its temples, churches, schools, dormitories, gardens, and towers growing into and around one another in a way that suggested a million termites all trying to build their mounds at the same time. When the sun rose the reflection of the doors of the central Temple blazed like fire. They were bronze, and a hundred feet tall. On them, in letters of gold set in lead, were the Commandments. There were five hundred and twelve so far, and doubtless the next Prophet would add his share. The sun's reflected glow shone down and across the tens of thousands of the strong-in-faith who laboured below for the greater glory of the Great God Om. Probably no one did know how many of them there were. Some things have a way of going critical. Certainly there was only one Cenobiarch, the Superior lam. That was certain. And six Archpriests. And thirty lesser Iams. And hundreds of bishops, deacons, subdeacons, and priests. And novices like rats in a grain store. And craftsmen, and bull breeders, and torturers, and Vestigial Virgins . . . No matter what your skills, there was a Place for you in the Citadel. (Pratchett 1992, 10)
Keyword(s): Irish Catholicism, May 2015 referendum, same-sex marriage
Publication Date:
Type: Book
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Language(s): English
Institution: Mary Immaculate College
Citation(s): ‘“Belief shifts’: Ireland’s referendum and the journey from Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft’, in Tracing the Cultural Legacy of Irish Catholicism: From Galway to Cloyne, and Beyond, edited by Eamon Maher
Publisher(s): Manchester University Press
First Indexed: 2018-04-05 06:45:02 Last Updated: 2018-11-09 06:46:07