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The Second Coming of Paisley

Militant Fundamentalism and Ulster Politics

by Richard Jordan

Publication Year: 2013

“The Second Coming of Paisley” examines the relationship between Rev. Ian Paisley and the leaders of the militant wing of evangelical fundamentalism in the United State in the period immediately preceding the outbreak of the Northern Ireland “Troubles” in the late 1960’s. The author convincingly demonstrates that it was exposure to the ideas and principles of leaders of the Christian right such as Carl McIntire and Billy James Hargis that enables Paisley to develop a militant brand of politicized religious fundamentalism which he used with remarkable success to block the advance of civil rights for N. Ireland’s Catholic population. The author provides a full analysis of this background and sets it up as a framework for understanding the extraordinary force with which the Rev. Paisley used a religious culture imported from the U.S. to affect a radical shakeup of religion and politics in Northern Ireland.

Published by: Syracuse University Press


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pp. 1-1

Front Flap, Title Page, Other Works in the Series, Copyright

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pp. 2-6


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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments: The World of Academia

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pp. vii-viii

The acknowledgments for this book are intentionally short. Graduate schools—this work is derived from my dissertation at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge—are notorious for those who help students and those who do not. That said, Meredith Veldman, my dissertation adviser, James Rogers of St. Thomas University ...


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pp. ix-x

Part One. The Old Testament: The Background to Paisleyism

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pp. 3-16

On 4 October 1969, an enthusiastic crowd watched the Reverend Ian Paisley christen the new Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian Church in East Belfast, Northern Ireland. The approximately seven thousand Christians in attendance either were members of the new church or belonged to Northern Ireland’s twenty-nine Free Presbyterian congregations ...

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1. The Transatlantic Background to Fundamentalism

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pp. 17-37

When the Reverend Ian Paisley preached his first sermon to Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian Church, his message painted an image of the long transatlantic history of Calvinism, revivalism, and Bible Protestantism. He derived much of his Christian faith from the connection between British and North American culture ...

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2. The Twentieth-Century Reformation: The Gospel of Militant Fundamentalism

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pp. 38-70

In the 1930s, the concerns of the American fundamentalist community transcended theology and refocused on politics and social mores. Within militant fundamentalism, national and international politics and a defense of American capitalism rivaled the defense of Bible Protestantism. ...

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3. The Theological and Political Background to Ulster Protestantism

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pp. 71-90

The factors that led to Paisleyism were not limited to American militant fundamentalism or to Irish revivalism and theological issues. The political, cultural, and economic history of the British Isles—from the Reformation through the mid-1950s—augmented the effects that fundamentalism, revivalism, and the transatlantic schisms ...

Part Two. The New Testament: Premillennial Paisleyism

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4. A Fundamental Defense of Ulster Protestantism

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pp. 93-129

The first three chapters outlined the influences that were vital to the formation of Paisleyism: the emergence of American fundamentalism, the political and economic maturation of the Northern Ireland statelet, and the coalescence of evangelism and revivalism into the Protestant identity of Ulster. ...

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5. The Crusade Against O’Neill and Ecumenism

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pp. 130-160

Until the early 1960s, Paisley’s notoriety was confined to the Northern Irish religious community and to a small group of militant fundamentalists in North America and Great Britain. But during the five-year period between 1963, when Terence O’Neill was elected the leader of the UUP and appointed the prime minister of Northern Ireland, ...

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6. Civil Rights for the Green, the Black, and the Orange

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pp. 161-181

As Paisley and O’Neill awoke to New Year’s Day in 1967, it likely seemed to both that they had strengthened their stature among their respective supporters. Paisley had become an important martyr within the international fellowship of militant Protestantism, and the Free Presbyterian Church was beginning to expand its membership ...

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7. Paisley, the Elijah of Ulster

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pp. 182-198

In August 1966, the Reverend Carl McIntire sent a telegram to Queen Elizabeth II, protesting the jailing of Paisley and his associates that followed the Paisleyite demonstration in front of the Presbyterian General Assembly. McIntire argued that the convictions of Paisley, John Wylie, and Ivan Foster constituted religious persecution ...

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8. Christian Disobedience in Ulster

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pp. 199-216

When Paisley returned to Northern Ireland in May 1968, his rhetoric against NICRA dramatically increased: attacks on civil rights took prominence over those against O’Neillism. Moreover, his tactics changed in a very important way. Before the summer of 1968, Paisley had harassed numerous “apostate” opponents ...

Part Three. The Second Coming: Paisley and Amillennial Politics

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9. The Genesis of Ulster Amilitant Politics

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pp. 219-231

This final section examines Paisley’s career in politics and his transformation from a premillennialist fundamentalist crusader into an amillennial politician. During his early career as a campaigning antimodernist and antiecumenical militant fundamentalist, he showed a basic interest in politics, ...

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10. The Second Coming Paisley and the “Civil” Religion of Democratic Unionism

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pp. 232-262

Throughout the first six months of the British army’s deployment in Northern Ireland beginning in August 1969, Paisleyites remained fairly complacent. During that fall and winter, however, a previously dormant foe reemerged that impelled Paisley into action: the IRA.1 ...

Notes Works Cited Index


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pp. 265-318

Works Cited

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pp. 319-342


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pp. 343-360

Back Flap, Back Cover

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pp. 373-374

E-ISBN-13: 9780815652090
E-ISBN-10: 0815652097
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815633136
Print-ISBN-10: 0815633130

Page Count: 328
Publication Year: 2013

OCLC Number: 867741418
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Second Coming of Paisley

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Presbyterian Church -- Northern Ireland.
  • Christianity and politics -- Northern Ireland.
  • Northern Ireland -- Politics and government -- 1969-1994.
  • Northern Ireland -- Church history.
  • Paisley, Ian R. K.
  • Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster.
  • Modernist-fundamentalist controversy.
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