Roots and wings: orthodoxy, tradition, and creativity in Irish folk Catholicism

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Feller, Joseph
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University College Cork
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The present work is an exploration of the beliefs and practices of three lay Catholic devotional communities in and around the city of Cork, Ireland. The research is guided by the theory that folk, or popular, religion is a dynamic process in which individuals and groups utilise the resources of orthodoxy, popular tradition, and personal creativity, to better interpret, articulate, and create religious experiences. Ethnographic fieldwork was the principal method of data collection. Four areas of folk religion are given special attention: the use of religious narrative to represent and reproduce religious experience, the use of material artefacts to create channels for sacred presence and activity, the use of ritual and pilgrimage to establish sacred time and space, and the use of prayer to accomplish all of these goals. These sections are followed by a more holistic analysis of the material, a critical examination of the work, and suggestions for further research.
Folk religion , Folk group , Religious narratives , Ritual , Religious artefacts
Feller, J. 1998. Roots and wings: orthodoxy, tradition, and creativity in Irish folk Catholicism. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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