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From prosperity to austerityA socio-cultural critique of the Celtic Tiger and its aftermath$
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Eamon Maher and Eugene O'Brien

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719091674

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719091674.001.0001

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The Celtic Tiger and the new Irish religious market

The Celtic Tiger and the new Irish religious market

(p.32) 2 The Celtic Tiger and the new Irish religious market
From prosperity to austerity

Catherine Maignant

Manchester University Press

Many assume that the Celtic Tiger was the root cause of the decline of religion as a hegemonic force in Irish society. Careful examination of data does not support this analysis, and this chapter argues that what has in effect occurred is that the Irish religious market has evolved from being monopolistic to becoming pluralist structure. Religious market theories argue that liberal and neo-liberal economic theories have their religious counterparts. Theorists thus defend the view that religious choice in a pluralist society is regulated by rational decisions based on supply and demand, competition and consumer needs. Religious products however have specificities, and faith implies that choice has an irrational dimension. Maignant analyses the nature of today's religious market in Ireland from the perspective of the Celtic Tiger values as echoed by religious market theories and by the post-secularization theory. The fusion of market terminology, market research analysis and objective accounting of the data offers a perspective on the place of the Church in Ireland that is highly original and innovative. It also offers a more objective perspective on the current state, and future trajectory, of the Catholic Church in a contemporary Irish context.

Keywords:   Faith, neo-liberalism, New Religious Movements, pluralism, post-secularization theory, religious market

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