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Evangelicalism and National Identity in Ulster, 1921-1998$
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Patrick Mitchel

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199256150

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199256152.001.0001

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Marching Backwards: The World of Orangeism

Marching Backwards: The World of Orangeism

Chapter:
(p.133) 5 Marching Backwards: The World of Orangeism
Source:
Evangelicalism and National Identity in Ulster, 1921-1998
Author(s):

Patrick Mitchel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199256152.003.0006

While claiming to be an expression of Reformed evangelical faith, analysis of Orange ideology—such as its use of political and spiritual legitimation, heroes and myths, symbols and rituals—shows that the movement’s significant political influence has depended on it being a religious expression of Unionist national identity. Given this symbiotic relationship, Orangeism has proved ideologically incapable of creating distance from the goals of unionism and is therefore an example of closed evangelicalism. Like unionism, Orangeism finds itself increasingly isolated and impotent to control its destiny. Political marginalization, increasing internal pressures, and limited vision threaten the onset of terminal decline.

Keywords:   grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, legitimation, loyalism, rituals, royal Arch Purple Order, royal Black Institution, symbols, martin Smyth, the Reformation, the Twelfth

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