Ireland, or at least the cultural talking-heads of Ireland, has or have declared the coming ten years a Decade of Centenaries. Depending on where each participant stands this might refer to either the centenaries of 1911 – 1921 (from the 1911 census of Ireland), or of 1913 – 1923 (from the Dublin Lockout). Whichever way we look at this, it is absurd; for no matter where we stand in the stream of human history, unless one happens to be a Young-Earth Creationist, it will always be one hundred years since something happened. Regardless, the upcoming centenaries are important for the national nation-creation myths or history of Ireland. We have the sinking of RMS Titanic, the colossal industrial agitation around the city of Dublin in the Lockout, the Great War, the Easter Rising, the War of Independence, and the Civil War. All of these things are important, but one hundred years of history and all the complex social and political currents of the historical ocean between then and now have served to add nuance and flavour to these events, resulting in a history that is highly contested, no matter how hard certain groups within Ireland try to hammer the square peg into the round hole. From the disaster of the Titanic onwards, the historical processes that have brought us to this point in time have not been all plain sailing. To begin with the old adage that only the victors are responsible for the record of accepted history is only the tip of the iceberg. Ireland has a long and rich history, her many and diverse communities have long histories, and the people of Ireland have equally long memories – and this may be part of the problem today when it comes to the state, or sanitised, presentation of a national historical narrative. Continue reading
Faith CalendarWeek of Prayer for Christian UnityJanuary 18th, 2013The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an international Christian ecumenical observance kept annually between 18 January and 25 January. It is actually an octave, that is, an observance lasting eight days.
- Kurt Alderman
- Eric Hyde
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