Conversion to Islam in Ireland: A Post-Catholic Subjectivity?

in Journal of Muslims in Europe
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Abstract

This article discusses the conversion experiences as recalled by Irish women who converted to Islam during the so-called ‘Celtic-Tiger’ period—the years of Ireland’s dramatic economic boom and major socio-cultural transformations between 1995 and 2007. In this period, the increasing religious diversity of Irish society and the decline of the social authority of the Catholic Church facilitated the exploration of alternative religious and spiritual affiliations. Irish women converts to Islam are an example of the emergence of a post-Catholic subjectivity in Ireland during the Celtic Tiger years. The women’s agency is illustrated through the choice of Islam as a religion and a cultural space different to Catholicism in order to gain status, power and control within the various religious and ethnic communities. This article is the first major study on conversion to Islam in Ireland during this period.

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References
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  • 5

    Taylor CharlesThe Ethics of Authenticity (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard U.P.1992) p. 26.

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    See similar finding in Köse Ali“The Journey from the Secular to the Sacred: Experiences of Native British Converts to Islam” Social Compass46 (1999) pp. 301-312.

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    Martuccelli Danilo“Les trois voies de l’individu sociologique”EspacesTemps.netTextuel 08.06.2005 http://www.espacestemps.net/document1414.html [accessed 22 June 2012].

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    Allen“Foucault and the Politics of Our Selves” p. 53.

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    Allen“Foucault and the Politics of Our Selves” p. 31.

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    Köse Ali“The Journey from the Secular to the Sacred: Experiences of Native British Converts to Islam” Social Compass46 (1999) pp. 303-304 and Soutar “British Female Converts to Islam”.

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    See Woodhead Linda“Women and Religion” in Religion in the Modern WorldLinda Woodhead et al. (London: Routledge 2002) p. 333.

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    Day“Wilfully Disempowered” p. 265.

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    See also Madeleine Sultán“Choosing Islam: a Study of Swedish Converts” Social Compass46 (1999) p. 327.

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    Sultán“Choosing Islam” p. 331.

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    See among others ZebiriBritish Muslim Converts pp. 52-87; Leon Moosavi “British Muslim Converts Performing ‘Authentic Muslimness’ ” Performing Islam 1 (2012) pp. 103-128 andvan Nieuwkerk Women Embracing Islam.

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  • 30

    See ZebiriBritish Muslim Converts pp. 52-87 and Moosavi “British Muslim Converts Performing ‘Authentic Muslimness’ ”.

  • 35

    Foucault“About the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the Self ” p. 203.

  • 38

    For similar changes see RamboUnderstanding Religious Conversion pp. 107-108.

  • 39

    See RamboUnderstanding Religious Conversion p. 105.

  • 41

    RamboUnderstanding Religious Conversion p. 114.

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    RamboUnderstanding Religious Conversion p. 115.

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    Foucault“About the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the Self ” p. 203.

  • 44

    See among others Inglis Tom (1998) Moral Monopoly: The Rise and Fall of the Catholic Church in Modern Ireland (Dublin: University College Dublin Press 1998).

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