Religion and Political Culture in Britain and Ireland: From the Glorious Revolution to the Decline of Empireby David Hempton (review)
- The Catholic Historical Review
- The Catholic University of America Press
- Volume 84, Number 4, October 1998
- pp. 781-782
- View Citation
- Additional Information
BOOK REVIEWS781 the case of Cecilia Ferrazzi herself, all cited in the course of the Autobiography. These investigations, as well as the present edition, are preparatory to a larger study that will encompass all the known Venetian "affected-sanctity" trials. Significant new findings further enriching an already intriguing story will undoubtedly be turned up. The recent opening to scholars of the central archives of the Holy Office in Rome, for example, may permit Schutte to shed light on the Supreme Congregation's deliberations over Ferrazzi's judicial appeal and its views concerning the heresy ofwhich she had been convicted. JohnTedeschi Ferryville, Wisconsin Religion and Political Culture in Britain and Ireland: From the Glorious Revolution to the Decline of Empire. By David Hempton. (New York: Cambridge University Press. 1996. Pp. xii, 191. $4995 hardback; $16.95 paperback.) This book is based on the Cadbury lectures which the author gave at the University of Birmingham in 1993, and provides a consistently incisive and penetrating survey of an historical territory fully as complex and varied as the geography of the islands with which it is concerned. Hempton shows himself the master of an extensive range of scholarship, given additional depth by insights from his own considerable primary research. He ably challenges the simplistic generalizations of others while offering a satisfying interpretative framework of his own, building upon his perception of the "patchwork quilt" quality of British and Irish religious allegiances and his awareness of how closely these commitments and associations were woven in with other aspects of the rich tapestry of human lives. He thus treats religion very seriously as a motivating and mobilizing force in its own right, while moving far outside the narrow confines of a more traditional kind of ecclesiastical history. Readers of this journal are likely to be particularly interested in Hempton's examination of Irish Catholicism and its antithesis, Ulster Protestantism, two chapters in which the interplay of religion with politics is particularly finely drawn. In tracing the movement of the Irish Catholic Church from its relative weakness under the penal laws to its centrality in the life of the independent Irish state of the twentieth century, Hempton gives particular emphasis to links between faith, ethnicity, society, and politics. He also stimulatingly explores antiCatholicism as a connecting link between the religious politics ofthe four component nations of the British Isles. The book would, however, have benefited from rather more detailed attention to the context provided by the spectacular growth of Catholicism in England and Scotland during the nineteenth century, and by the advance of Catholic influence in the Church of England. A further relative weakness is in the coverage of Scotland and Wales, which receive one 782BOOK REVIEWS chapter between them, as opposed to two on Ireland alone, but even here Hempton has much to offer. It should be noted that Hempton assumes quite extensive prior knowledge in the reader and that accordingly students would need first to have obtained from other texts a clear understanding of chronology and major developments. With that caution, however, this superb book can be unreservedly recommended as essential reading for all who are seeking to deepen and refresh their understanding of the nature and political context of religion in modern Britain and Ireland. John Wolffe The Open University La Compagnia di Gesii nell'Lmpero Russo (1772-1820) e la sua parte nella restaurazione generate della Compagnia. By Marek Inglot, SJ. [Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana, Miscellanea Historiae Pontificiae, Vol. 63.] (Rome: Editrice Pontificia Università Gregoriana. 1997. Pp. xxv, 337. Lire 52.000; $36.00 paperback.) The fall of Communism has rekindled interest in the survival of the Society of Jesus in the Russian Empire after the 1773 papal suppression. Farther Inglot succeeds brilliantly in presenting "the contributions of the Jesuits ofWhite Russia to the work of restoring the Society ofJesus" (p. 28). He also gives a clear and comprehensive account of the "Russian" Society's governance, schools, and missions; its complicated relations with Roman authorities and the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Russia, its contacts with former Jesuits in Europe and America for the period 1772-1820, and its impact on the restored Society. Inglot sketches the roles of Catherine II, Paul I, and Alexander...