I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Fergus O’Ferrall

The Inflection Point

Literacy in religious thinking may be necessary to tackle the world crisis

Sipping from the Honey-Pot

Oliver Goldsmith was ‘an enlightened anti-imperialist’ grappling with the emerging modernity of the industrial and agricultural revolutions. His ethical universalism did not preclude cultural diversity or respect for diverse cultures existing on their own terms.

Midlands Enlightenment

The eighteenth century in Ireland saw the vigorous transfer of literary objects and ideas between Castle Forbes, Edgeworthstown House, and other ‘big houses’ such as Charleville Forest in Co Offaly. Co Longford in particular seems to have been especially rich in literary life at this time.

Towards a Coalition of Hope

The Christian commitment to the core elements of a flourishing society is shared by civic republican philosophy ‑ the secular outlook which ought to underpin and shape the republic which is established in Ireland. It is time for the two to come together to provide an alternative to neo-liberalism.

Step Back, Make Space

A ‘peace’ consisting of two separate communities deterring each other from dominance in a fragile see-saw balance of power, where there is no real sharing in a common civic culture, is no real peace. What is required instead is Christian reconciliation based on a rejection of sectarianism.

The People’s Story

A comprehensive new volume of essays on Ireland’s social history since 1740 claims to offer a new interpretation of the country’s history. Certainly it contains much excellent and groundbreaking material, but it furnishes a starting point for interpretation rather than the finished article.

Too Long A Sacrifice

French Catholic intellectual influences were very evident in Catholic middle class culture in early twentieth century Ireland and were openly embraced in Joseph Mary Plunkett’s The Irish Review, a journal which promoted ‘a particularly religiose form of nationalism’.

Scholar and Gentleman

The eighteenth century manuscript collector, historian, political activist and thinker Charles O’Conor was a remarkable figure who bridged the Gaelic tradition of his family and upbringing and the most advanced thought of the European Enlightenment.

The Civic Public Square

How should religious groups interact with the public sphere and attempt to influence policy? Or should they stay out of the political marketplace altogether? The liberal Catholicism of Daniel O’Connell, which emphasised that a right or freedom is a right or freedom for everyone, may provide a model.