Will we see the Liberalisation of Irish Catholicism? Comments in the Guardian

In continued coverage of the Republic of Ireland’s abortion referendum, I spoke with the Guardian about possible future directions for the Catholic Church in Ireland.  Gladys Ganiel, author of Transforming Post-Catholic Ireland, said the result was not a fatal blow for the Catholic church but the continuation of a trend rejecting Catholic teaching. Church leaders […]

Ireland’s Abortion Referendum: My Contributions in the Washington Post & New York Times

The referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution in the Republic of Ireland has now become history. The Eighth Amendment banned abortion in almost all circumstances. But Friday’s referendum resulted in a resounding vote to overturn the amendment, opening up the way for more liberal abortion legislation to be enacted later this year. […]

We are More than Orange & Green: My Contribution

The ‘We are More than Orange & Green’ Facebook page has been asking people from various walks of life and professions to answer four questions about contemporary Northern Ireland. If you are on Facebook, like the page to make sure you don’t miss any responses. Here’s my contribution: “Christians need to get that sense that […]

New Post on RTE Brainstorm – How Northern Ireland’s Future is in the Past

I have a new post on RTE’s Brainstorm website, ‘How Northern Ireland’s Future is in the Past.’ It picks up on themes of religion and reconciliation, in light of the upcoming consultation on dealing with the past.

Constitutional Pasts and Futures 20 Years after the Good Friday Agreement: 8 May in Dublin

I will be taking part in a one-day conference on ‘Constitutional Pasts and Futures: Northern Ireland and the British Irish Relationship Twenty Years after the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement’ on Tuesday 8 May at the Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin. At 10.30 am, there is a keynote address by former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern on […]

Understanding ‘No Religion’ – New Video on Vakuum via Peter Jost

You can watch a video of my talk, The Apocalypse for Religion: Understanding People who identify as ‘No Religion’, which I gave last week at Wake, an annual boutique festival in Belfast curated by Peter Rollins. The video title is The Nonreligious, Emerging Church and the Institutional Church. The video was produced by Peter Jost,  a theologian and church […]

The Apocalypse for Religion – at Peter Rollins’ Wake Festival

Today I had the privilege of participating in Wake, an annual boutique festival in Belfast, which is curated by Peter Rollins. It’s always a treat to catch up on Pete’s latest work, and to meet the people who come from afar to experience Belfast and explore ideas together. While the residential festival is full, there […]

How Churches are Missing their Opportunity – New Post on the Conversation

There is a new post on the Conversation, written by Prof John Brewer and me, ‘How Churches are Missing their Opportunity to help build Peace in Northern Ireland.’ The reflections are framed around tomorrow’s 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. This post is a good companion piece for today’s BBC Radio 4 Beyond Belief […]

Norman Hamilton, Martin Magill and Me Tomorrow on Beyond Belief – The Churches since the Good Friday Agreement (and thoughts on forgiveness)

Tomorrow’s Beyond Belief programme on BBC Radio 4 will feature a discussion among Rev Norman Hamilton, Fr Martin Magill and me about the role of the churches in Northern Ireland since the Good Friday Agreement. The programme airs at 4.30 pm, or you can catch the podcast later in the day. Hamilton is a former […]

Learning from Presbyterian Responses to the Troubles – Seminar 18 May

I’ll be giving a seminar on ‘Learning from Presbyterian Responses to the Troubles,’ on 18 May in the Old Staff Common Room at Queen’s University. There will be a free lunch provided at 12.30, followed by my presentation at 1.00 pm. I will share initial findings from a major research project on how Presbyterians responded […]

Fr Gerry Reynolds and the Changing Role of the Catholic Media, 1969-1975

Next week I am part of a panel on ‘Christian Modernities in Britain and Ireland in the 20th Century,’ at the European Social Science History Conference at Queen’s University, Belfast. I’ll be presenting a paper on ‘The Communications Revolution in Ireland and the Changing Role of the Catholic Media: Fr Gerry Reynolds and Intercom, 1969-1975.’ […]