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He refused to grant that his words contributed to violence. And he asserted that peace would not have been possible without him.Paisley’s considerable shadow looms over three recent books exploring religion in Northern Ireland: , by John Brewer, Gareth Higgins, and Francis Teeney.He is also notorious, routinely accused of having stirred up violence through his use of fiery, anti-Catholic rhetoric during the “Troubles,” the long-running conflict between predominantly Protestant unionists and predominantly Catholic nationalists who promoted radically divergent visions of Northern Ireland’s political identity , sought to explore aspects of Paisley’s personal journey that took him from the rejectionist “Dr.
An especially insightful chapter on “Religion and Motivations for Violence” illuminates the way in which “personality, experience, political understanding (however rudimentary), and opportunity” — as well as religious influences — impacted people’s decisions to engage in violence.
Just as American fundamentalists vigorously proclaimed that there was a plot to use integration, civil rights agitation, and black street violence to achieve a “godless America,” Paisley raged that a “pan-nationalist front” including republicanism, Catholicism, ecumenism, and the civil rights movement to end discrimination against Catholics would destroy the last vestiges of “true Christianity” in Ulster. Although Paisley has never publicly said that he was influenced by events in the American civil rights movement, Jordan claims that Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination gave Paisley a new sense of purpose.
were shocked when Paisley admitted that Catholics were discriminated against prior to the start of the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland. He would become more militant to ensure that Catholics in Northern Ireland would not make the same gains as African-Americans.
※ the research for which fed into community-based adult “Education for Reconciliation” courses taught by the Irish School of Ecumenics, influenced the work of other organizations like Evangelical Contribution on Northern Ireland, and was mentioned by respondents to later research by the Irish School of Ecumenics as contributing to their personal commitments to Christian peacemaking.
So far, has been debated on BBC Radio Ulster’s major religion program and discussed at events such as the 4 Corners Festival in Belfast, a Christian festival organized by a group of clergy and laity.