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Bowdoin Report on How Some (But Only Some) Church Leaders Helped Build Peace in Northern Ireland

There is a report on the Bowdoin College (Brunswick, Maine, USA) webpage about a public lecture I gave there last month, ‘How Some (But Only Some) Church Leaders Helped Build Peace in Northern Ireland.’ Bowdoin College is the alma mater of Senator George J Mitchell, who chaired the peace talks that produced the 1998 Good […]

Clerical Voices from Irish Catholicism on Trial – Flannery, Hederman & Claffey

Last week’s conference on ‘Irish Catholicism on Trial’ at the Institute of Technology, Tallaght, in Dublin provided a platform for a variety of voices. Among them was a panel of ‘clerical voices,’ whose critiques of the Irish Catholic Church provided something of an insider perspective. Fr Tony Flannery, the Redemptorist priest and co-founder of the […]

How Religion Still Matters in a Post-Catholic Ireland – Text of Keynote

Last week I had the opportunity to give a keynote address at a conference on ‘Irish Catholicism on Trial,’ a multidisciplinary event at the Institute of Technology, Tallaght. The title of my lecture was ‘Understanding Post-Catholic Ireland: Does Religion Still Matter?’ The talk drew on my most recent book, Transforming Post-Catholic Ireland. You can read the full text […]

Fr Patrick Devine on Conflict Transformation in Eastern Africa

This week (22 March), the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice hosted Fr Patrick Devine for a lecture on “Inter-Ethnic Conflict Transformation Methods: Applications in Eastern Africa.” Fr Devine is the founder of the Shalom Center for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation in Nairobi, Kenya, an inter-religious organization pioneering conflict transformation […]

Reflection on Up Standing: Stories of Courage from Northern Ireland

Last night I took part in an event, ‘The Past is a Moving Picture: Screening of the film Up Standing: Stories of Courage from Northern Ireland,’ in Imagine: the Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics. I was asked for a short reflection on the film, which I’ve reproduced below. While the most powerful part of the night was […]

Festivals of Reconciliation? Opportunities for Uncomfortable Conversations

This weekend sees the start of two festivals – one well-established and one brand-new – which feature a variety of discussions, talks and events related to reconciliation on this island. West Belfast’s long running Féile an Phobail and the first-time Aperture Festival at Corrymeela in Ballycastle provide plenty of opportunities to reflect and debate on […]

A Quick Journey Through the Psalms Begins Monday 8 June

The Monday nights in June at Sacred Heart Parish in North Belfast (Glenview Street) will be dedicated to deepening an appreciation of the 150 psalms with a special programme called ‘A Quick Journey Through the Psalms.’ Guest speakers include Rev Steve Stockman (Fitzroy Presbyterian), Breige O’Hare (, Rabbi David Singer, and Rev Arlene Moore (Church of […]

Response to Dr Jenny Taylor’s Catherwood Lecture, ‘When Words Fail …’

I was a respondent to Dr Jenny Taylor’s Catherwood Lecture, ‘When Words Fail: Religious Literacy and Post-Multicultural Possibilities’ on Thursday evening. The Catherwood Lecture is an annual event organised by Contemporary Christianity. You can read my short summary of Taylor’s main points here, and my own remarks below. (I shortened remarks on the evening, so I […]