Friday, February 4, 2011

"Ireland's New Religious Movements" book released

My research on "The Invention of Celtic Buddhism: A Literary and Intellectual Tradition" appears in Ireland's New Religious Movements. You can link here to order a copy of essays exploring this timely and intriguing field-- as this is the first book on the subject-- from Cambridge Scholars Publishing in England. On February 1st, 2011, the work appeared. This is Féile Bhrid, St. Brigid's Day, Imbolc, the Celtic feast of "in the belly" of winter as spring nears.

Here's the body of my essay as Chapter Four (pp. 74-96 if without the works cited as this is a single appendix for all contributors combined) as a proof-text. A sample.pdf  online of the first few pages of the book offers its Table of Contents and some of the editors' introduction. You can see here its handsome cover in fitting "Irelantis" homage to Seán Killen's whimsical paper collages!

I thank Olivia Cosgrove, Carmen Kuhling, Peter Mulholland and especially Laurence Cox (who with Maria Griffin offers a groundbreaking article on the history of Irish Buddhism) for their editing and hosting of the  conference about which I blogged fifteen or so months ago. My own research has been very rewarding on such a fresh topic. As Professor Cox noted, the cycle from Samhain 2009 for the NUI Maynooth (my blog entry) conference on Alternative Spiritualities in Ireland (NUIM link) to the publication of selected proceedings Imbolc 2011 symbolizes an appropriate arc.

Here's the publisher's overview:
Until recently, Irish religion has been seen as defined by Catholic power in the South and sectarianism in the North. In recent years, however, both have been shaken by widespread changes in religious practice and belief, the rise of new religious movements, the revival of magical-devotionalism, the arrival of migrant religion and the spread of New Age and alternative spirituality.

This book is the first to bring together researchers exploring all these areas in a wide-ranging overview of new religion in Ireland. Chapters explore the role of feminism, Ireland as global ‘Celtic’ homeland, the growth of Islam, understanding the New Age, evangelicals in the Republic, alternative healing, Irish interest in Buddhism, channelled teachings and religious visions.

This book will be an indispensable handbook for professionals in many fields seeking to understand Ireland’s increasingly diverse and multicultural religious landscape, as well as for students of religion, sociology, psychology, anthropology and Irish Studies. Giving an overview of the shape of new religion in Ireland today and models of the best work in the field, it is likely to remain a standard text for many years to come.


Bo said...

Many congrats! I will be using this in my book on the Tuatha De Danann.

John L. Murphy / "Fionnchú" said...

I look forward to your Tuatha book!