25 November - A real revolution: Ireland and the Oxford Group/Moral Re-Armament movement, 1933-2001

Professor Bernadette Whelan, Royal Irish Academy

Thursday 25 November 2021, 16.00 (4 PM)

The paper will be delivered through MS Teams. Please, contact Dr Jérôme aan de Wiel, School of History, UCC, to obtain a Teams link: j.aandewiel@ucc.ie

Paper During the twentieth century, Ireland, north and south, was infiltrated to varying degrees by a transnational quasi-religious and political movement; Moral Re-Armament (M.R.A.). This paper argues that Ireland, characterised by two ideologically narrow cultural and political monoliths, was not immune to external spiritual and quasi-political influences and that M.R.A.’s activities in Ireland confirm these distinctive religious and political cultures while also revealing similarities. Moreover, it reveals that non-governmental M.R.A. individuals, north and south, were in advance of governments in their desire for peaceful solutions to the Irish partition issue and the Cold War more generally. The paper, therefore, examines an international movement which had personal, national and global significance within the context of transnational religious, political and foreign policy studies as well as the national narratives of Northern Ireland and Ireland. Professor emeritus Bernadette Whelan has published extensively on American-Irish diplomatic relations and her latest work is De Valera and Roosevelt. Irish and American Diplomacy in Times of Crisis, 1932-1939 (Cambridge University Press, 2021). She is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and co-editor of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy published bi-annually by the Royal Irish Academy, Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and the National Archives of Ireland. This paper is based on an article in Irish Historical Studies published in November 2021.

College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences

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