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Palgrave Macmillan

Ex-Combatants, Religion, and Peace in Northern Ireland

The Role of Religion in Transitional Justice

ISBN 9781137299352
Publication Date February 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Palgrave Studies in Compromise after Conflict

Much has been written about the influence of religion on the Northern Ireland conflict and the part played by ex-combatants in the peace process. Yet we know very little about the religious outlook of ex-combatants themselves. Are they personally devout? Is religion important to their political identity? Did faith play a role in their decision to take up arms, or lay them down? And now that their war is over, does religion help them cope with the past?
Based on original interviews with ex-combatants from across the political and religious divide, this book addresses these questions, shedding new light on the interplay of religion, identity and violence in Ireland. It also shows how the case of Northern Ireland illuminates the current international debate around religion and peacemaking. Arguing that advocates of religious interventions in transitional justice often naively exaggerate its influence, a theoretical model for understanding the role of religion in transitional justice is proposed.

Religion and the Northern Ireland Conflict
The Personal Faith of Ex-combatants
Religion and Motivations for Violence
Religion and Prison
Ex-combatants and the Churches
Perspectives on the Past: Religion in the Personal and the Political
Conclusion Religion and Transitional Justice in Northern Ireland


"This book is the first of its kind. There will no doubt be further studies and publications on the subject in the future but this important and much needed text will prove to be the reference point concerning religion and ex-combatants in Northern Ireland for students and academics for many years to come." - Dave Magee Blog
"[This book's] main conclusions deserve to be widely disseminated and discussed." - Dr Gladys Ganiel, Trinity College Dublin
"Based on 29 in-depth interviews with loyalists (part of the Protestant/unionist community) and republicans (part of the Catholic/nationalist community), this is the first major book to analyse the religious beliefs and practices of those whoengaged in violence, including their perceptions of how religion influenced them." - Marginalia
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