Believing Without Belonging In Irish Society

2088 words - 8 pages

The phrase believing without belonging can indeed be applied to the Irish context with an increasing tendency towards this form of religiosity, yet there are still those who both believe and belong and some neither believe nor belong. Religion has always been at the forefront of Irish Society. Fogarty (1984:8) in studying the 1981 European Values Survey (EVS) found that ‘every indicator of belief, informal and formal practice and attitudes to the church or churches, shows Irish people... to be far more inclined to religion than those of other countries in Europe.’ However, in the 2008 EVS survey, the number of people attending Church weekly had declined from 82.4% in 1981 to 44.2%, with a similar decline in monthly attendance to 65% and 14% never attending church. Yet belief in God has declined at a much lesser rate with 91.8% believing in 2008 compared to 97.1% in 1981. These figures seem to suggest that Irish people are detaching themselves from formalised, institutionalised religious practice but nevertheless are retaining their beliefs.
Davie’s concept of Believing without belonging (1994) is used to describe people who are no longer conforming to religious practice yet still maintain religious belief systems. The Irish EVS figures certainly seem to suggest a trend towards this type of religiosity. Church attendance and other outwards forms of religiosity have declined yet the Irish ‘have not abandoned many of their deep-seated religious aspirations’ (Davie 2000:8). There are still high levels of acceptance of key religious beliefs, despite a growing number of non-affiliated and marginally attached members of religious institutions (Fahey,2005). In fact, in the 2000 EVS survey 50% of the non-affiliated believed in God. This can be described as a type of ‘fuzzy fidelity’, groups of people who no longer feel the need to attend church regularly yet do not regard themselves as wholly non religious. (Voas, 2009) Believing without belonging is therefore a sort of intermediate religiosity, which suggests that the decline in the significance of Irish religious institutions does not necessarily correspond to a loss in the value of religiosity in individuals lives. Davie (2008) goes so far as to even suggest that there is an inverse relationship between spirituality and institutionalised religion.
Religiosity designates the importance of religion in a person’s life. (Macionis and PLummer, 2012:661) Glock and Stark (1965) identified 8 concepts of religiosity, assessing religiosity as having ritualistic, devotional, communal, experiential, belief, consequential, knowledge and particularistic aspects. Yet under the latest Irish EVS figures the aspect of ritualism seems to be diminished. These various forms of religious membership and commitment are supposed to reflect and reaffirm beliefs and have long been regarded as concrete evidence of religiosity. Yet without this aspect, measuring the degree of religiousness of a person becomes more...

Find Another Essay On Believing Without Belonging in Irish Society

Cycling in Ireland- Does Irish society support it, and will it do so in the future?

651 words - 3 pages brought our bicycles with which to truly take in all the island could offer, from the Shankill to the Dingle, from Inchicore to Inishmor at a truly Irish pace. Having cycled throughout the 32 counties, I couldn't wait to have her experience the sensations that would reward her. In Northern Ireland it was a joy- absolutely beautiful weather greeted us as we cycled along the Antrim coast and down into Belfast, strangers offering us hospitality and

How does the surrounding and interactions with society affect our belonging in fight club, a love song of j. Alfred Prufrock and Batman Begins?

998 words - 4 pages Fight Club, The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock, Preludes, and Batman Begins are all texts which reveal how our surroundings and interactions with society are the fundamental factors that shape our identity. These texts reflect a modern concern over an individual's sense of self, their place in society and the alienation, and lack of individuality that is experienced within their ongoing search for meaning in life. This complex relationship is

Examine the Concept of 'Social Exclusion' linked to Irish Identity

1897 words - 8 pages who came to Britain, as it offers comfort and looks after the spiritual needs of the people. The fact that Catholic religion was separate and isolated from Britain's society made the people feel separate and isolated. The Church offered the Irish people a sense of identity, without the church the Irish would have become faceless people, because it was at the church they found their identity, it became their social hob. (The Irish in England

Davie's Concept of Believing but Not Belonging to Religion

1866 words - 7 pages passage in their life, but disregard the teachings in other elements of their lives (O'Doherty, 2008). It is easy to assume that Irish society is an obvious case of believing without belonging as mass participation has fallen rapidly. In a national survey, 90% of Catholics in 1973-1974 responded stating that they attended mass once a week (Inglis, 2007). This has fallen significantly as in The European Value Study reported only 66 % now attend

Irish Immigration In America

1775 words - 7 pages : thirty nine Union Regiments contained a majority of Irishmen, and the famous 69th regiment "Fighting 69" was comprised almost totally of Irishmen. But, don't let the Confederates be forgotten either, over forty thousand Irishmen fought for the grays. The Irish Americans gained some respectability for their involvement in the Civil War and were now more accepted by American society. The Irish Americans in post-Civil War era were more

Irish History in America

1511 words - 6 pages immigrants were given a sense of belonging through the formation of Irish social groups and various Irish organizations. Due to their connections, the Catholic Church increased and was a major force in representing both social and political values that the Irish held. By the time the nineteenth century came to a close, Irish immigrants had infused themselves into American culture. There were songs such as “My Wild Irish Rose” that had become genuinely

Irish Segregation in the Early Nineteenth Century

1202 words - 5 pages (Hamill, 2007). After years of oppression and hard work, the Irish found themselves as equals to the rest of the “whites” in society. However, this did not happen without the help of illegal activities, and questionable events in history. Without the stubbornness of the Irish to want to become American and their unrelenting want to be equals, this may have never happened in history until the late 20th century. The Irish fought tooth and nail for

Irish Immigrants in Boston

2759 words - 11 pages common decades before, began to disappear. The Irish had heavily participated in the war: thirty nine Union regiments contained a majority of Irishmen, and the 69th regiment was comprised almost totally of Irishmen. The Irish Americans gained some respect for their involvement in the Civil War and were now more accepted by American society. The Irish Americans in the post-Civil War time period were more economically successful. Several of the

The Women's Movement in Ireland

1284 words - 6 pages Inghinidhe na hÉireann, as well as men and women of Ireland. James Connolly, who was in America at the time, gave his support in writing to Bean na hÉireann. In February 1909 the journal’s editorial was a response to a letter by Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, in her letter Sheehy Skeffington urged women to push for parliamentary franchise. Women had low status in Irish society in the early 1900s. They were prohibited from joining existing

The Call for the Gaelic League

1704 words - 7 pages been a modernizing society since the Famine, and the tragedy of the Famine was itself the occasion of a great modernizing change” (469). The demand for an institution of education was in order. To answer the demand would eventually lead to, “The Gaelic League, the dominant institution of the third revival,” (Hutchinson 484) with the second revival being the Irish Protestant/ Catholic liberation of 1829. With the loss of so many people

The Fighting Irish

1147 words - 5 pages The Fighting IrishThe Irish have come a long way in American society from the struggles they once faced, during the immigration wave of the late 1800's. Irish americans faced many hardships during this time, and overcame them all. The first fight that they faced was in 1864, when the great potatoe famine swept across their home land. This only led the people to another battle, across the ocean to the "new world". After settling, the Irish had

Similar Essays

Women In Irish Society Essay

1625 words - 7 pages without which the common good cannot be achieved’. This is directly, by law, giving women a lower status in society than men in society by claiming that their role is to be within the home, according to Galligan (1998). It is social attitudes like these that which exert a strong influence over women in the home and their own attitude towards political involvement. The topic of contraception was a means in which was used to give women a lower status

Belonging In Society How Have The Texts Migrant Hostel, 10 Mary Street, Matilda And Dorothy Counts Shaped Your Understanding Of Belonging In Society?

1207 words - 5 pages focuses on her individuality as it is juxtaposed against the conformity of the crowd, their faces being blurred showing the difficulty in being individually differentiated.Above all, throughout the thorough annotations of each text, it has strengthened my understanding towards the concept of belonging. Belonging is not just whether or not you belong within a society or group; it is much larger than just that. Belonging can always have a

An Analysis Of The Role Of The Media In Contemporary Irish Society

1424 words - 6 pages Q. Describe and analyse the role of the media in Contemporary Irish Society.Few people can deny the overwhelming effect the media has had in structuring the society in which we, as Irish people, exist in today. Hundreds of sub-cultures have grown in this small country as a direct result of media presence. From it's small newspaper periodical based origins the media in this country and around the world has grown and multiplied in such a way as

Cholera Epidemics And The Irish. Why Were The Cholera Epidemics In The United States Associated With The Irish? What Changes Came About In American Society Because Of This Epidemic?

2159 words - 9 pages these diseases, society was quick to make up explanations for these cases. People started explaining the cause of disease, with "human sinfulness." They started believing that god was cursing those who were sinners with diseases. Another explanation was that disease existed in nature and that nature was punishing those who violated nature's laws. All these false explanations for disease did not allow Americans to look for the real reason for the