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Church, State and Social Science in IrelandKnowledge Institutions and the Rebalancing of Power, 1937-73$
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Peter Murray and Maria Feeny

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781526100788

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526100788.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Conclusion

Conclusion

Chapter:
(p.209) 7 Conclusion
Source:
Church, State and Social Science in Ireland
Author(s):

Peter Murray

Maria Feeney

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526100788.003.0007

Chapter 7 concludes the study by first noting how ambivalently clerical sociologists responded to the changes wrought by state planning practice in the 1960s. Demands from champions of such planning that the discipline should begin to play a different societal role are next examined. During the 1970s the Hierarchy combined failure to plan for a continuation of a significant clerical presence among practitioners of sociology with the casting of itself as the conscience of Irish society. The warding off of abortion, contraception and divorce was thereby entrusted to a highly selective but this-worldly `sociological’ empiricism rather than to theological dogmatism. Initially successful, this strategy has become progressively less effective as popular confidence in church leaders has declined dramatically. Detached from the institution the framed the working lives of their disciplinary predecessors, today’s sociologists debate the respective contributions that factors such as higher education levels, economic marginalisation of the poorly educated and the uncovering of hidden histories of the abuse of clerical power have made to this decline.

Keywords:   State planning, Church-state relations, Social science research, Trust in clerical leaders, Clerical abuse scandals, Documentary evidence, State technocracy, Americanisation

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