Posted by: loveleigh | June 24, 2009

SOCI 3950: Week 1 Reading Questions



Reading Response:

Tom Inglis- Ch. 5 from “Moral Monopoly”

  1. I was unfamiliar with the Penal Laws before coming to Ireland, so this was something new to me. ” The laws were an attempt by the Protestant ascendancy to maintain its position by making the Catholics a servile caste.” Basically these laws deprived the Catholics of all civil life. I found the aim of these laws very interesting. The laws restricted education to make sure the Irish Catholics would remain and “ignorant savage.”
  2. Something that was really surprising to me was the poorness of the Irish Catholic Church. There is quote on page 100 that really struck me “They worship in hovels, or in the open air, from the want of any place of worship. Their religion is the religion of three-fourths of the population. Not far off, in a well-windowed and well-roofed house, is a well-paid protestant clergyman…furious against the errors of Popery. This also goes back to what Dr. McClure was telling us in class about these Mass Rocks where people went to practice Catholicism made illegal by the Penal Laws. Inglis goes on to explain the importance of these Mass Rocks and other obscure worshipping sites so we can understand the “enormous demoralisation” of the penal laws and why the Catholic Church later spent so much money, time and effort building churches.

Patsy McGarry- Ch.2 “The Rise and Fall of Roman Catholicism in Ireland”

  1. The Famine statistics were very surprising and new to me. The fact that the Famine cut the population from about 8 million people to 4 million. There were many shifts in landholdings in the rural poor during this time and I had no idea that these changes in land drastically changed their attitude about sexuality and family. They no longer divided the land between all the sons, now the oldest son got it all so this meant that the number of children had to be limited.
  2. I was surprised at how much influence the Catholic Church had on these families relating to sex. McGarry says the sermons of the Irish Catholic clergy seemed to be dominated by sex for over 120 years. between poverty and Chasity the marriage rates plummeted during this time. The Famine seemed to have affected all aspects of Irish family life all the way down to marriage and birth rates.

Tom Inglis- Ch. 1-2 in “Global Ireland: Same Difference”

  1. I had no idea that Ireland is identified as one of the most globalized societies in the world. Inglis points out that most people would think of Ireland as a country of devout Catholics who like to “live simple, humble lives.” I think he is absolutely correct, thats pretty much my thoughts of Ireland before coming here. I would never have thought of as the “most globalized society in the world.”
  2. One thing i found interesting is when Inglis was explaining the “sameness and difference” idea. I found a quote that was really fascinating when he was expaining why the Irish are different. “The absence of physical affection, an obsession with sex, and an emphasis on self-denial have been central to what makes the Irish different. It is the source of their imagination, their humor, self-presentation, conversation, literature, art, and music.” I love this because I have found it true and have had the chance to see this myself. The Irish are very passionate about the fine arts, this is evident whether they are at the pubs or just walking around the town. Almost every night there is a local band playing at one of the pubs, during the day there are all sorts of people on the street just playing instruments. This is one of the things I love about Ireland and I understand that this passion does make them different.

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