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Transforming Post-Catholic IrelandReligious Practice in Late Modernity$
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Gladys Ganiel

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198745785

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198745785.001.0001

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St Patrick’s United Church, Waterford City

St Patrick’s United Church, Waterford City

Chapter:
(p.137) 7 St Patrick’s United Church, Waterford City
Source:
Transforming Post-Catholic Ireland
Author(s):

Gladys Ganiel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198745785.003.0007

This chapter presents the findings from a case study of St Patrick’s United Church, a multiethnic, ecumenical (Methodist–Presbyterian) congregation under the care of the Methodist Church in Waterford City. It provides a history of the congregation, including growth fed by immigration. It explains how it can be considered an example of extra-institutional religion, focusing on its ambivalent relationship with the Irish Catholic Church, and apparent in how people spoke of being Christian in a post-Catholic Ireland, being Christian in a pluralist congregation, and rejecting the classical ecumenical project. It also analyses how St Patrick’s negotiates diversity, creating a multicultural haven that can serve as a model for other groups, although challenges remain around cultural differences and building cross-cultural relationships. It argues that St Patrick’s negotiates diversity more effectively than traditional congregations and denominations, and may be better placed to contribute to socio-political transformations than traditional religious institutions.

Keywords:   multiethnic congregations, immigration, diversity, ecumenism, pluralist congregations, extra-institutional religion, Irish Catholic Church, Methodism, Presbyterianism

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