The churches and emigration from nineteenth-century Ireland

The book knits together two of the most significant themes in the social and cultural history of modern Ireland - mass emigration and religious change - and aims to provide fresh insight into both. It addresses the churches' responses to emigration, both in theory and in practice. The book also assesses how emigration impacted on the churches both in relation to their status in Ireland, and in terms of their ability to spread their influence abroad. It first deals with the theoretical positions of the clergy of each denomination in relation to emigration and how they changed over the course of the nineteenth century, as the character of emigration itself altered. It then explores the extent of practical clerical involvement in the temporal aspects of emigration. This includes attempts to prevent or limit it, a variety of facilitation services informally offered by parish clergymen, church-backed moves to safeguard emigrant welfare, clerical advice-giving and clerically planned schemes of migration. Irish monks between the fifth and eighth centuries had spread Christianity all over Europe, and should act as an inspiration to the modern cleric. Tied in with this reading of the past, of course, was a very particular view of the present: the perception that emigration represented the enactment of a providential mission to spread the faith.

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Rothenburg councillors gradually acquired a hinterland which became the fourth largest rural territory governed by a city in the early modern Empire. Covering about 400 square kilometres, it had 10,000–11,000 inhabitants living in 118 villages varying in size from tiny settlements like Hummertsweiler, with three households, to Gebsattel, the largest village, with eighty households. Most of these people were peasants, but the hinterland also contained rural craftsmen, blacksmiths, millers and parish clergymen. In 1430 the council had a barrier of hedges and ditches

in Witchcraft narratives in Germany
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The clergy and emigration in practice

economic reform aside, this influence was long thought to be the best weapon in the antiemigration armoury. Following the pattern of opinion set out in Chapter One, it was a weapon mainly deployed from mid-century onward. An uncoordinated campaign of dissuasion, largely centred on the pulpit pleas of parish clergymen, was regularly given fresh impetus by the published accounts of priests who had either settled in or visited emigrant destinations. The first of such cautionary messages was a frightening, if poorly grounded, exposé of mass Catholic ‘leakage’ proffered in

in Population, providence and empire
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into context. The chapter uses evidence from contemporary pamphlets, newspapers and periodicals – particularly a vastly underused corpus of religious periodicals – while also having recourse to parliamentary papers, and, in particular, the content analysis of extensive clerical testimony before the 1830s Poor inquiry. Chapter Two explores the extent of practical clerical involvement in the temporal aspects of emigration. This includes attempts to prevent or limit it, a variety of facilitation services informally offered by parish clergymen, church-backed moves to

in Population, providence and empire