Ireland has long been synonymous with entrenched conflicts between deeply conservative ethno-religious identities, but in recent decades much has changed. The first academic conference devoted to the subject, entitled “Alternative Spiritualities, the New Age and new religious movements in Ireland“, was appropriately held over a Samhain weekend in Maynooth. I wrote a conference report for the Irish Journal of Sociology.
The conference gave rise to the book Ireland’s new religious movements (edited by Olivia Cosgrove, Laurence Cox, Carmen Kuhling and Peter Mulholland. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2011). The editors’ introduction is available online here; a list of reviews, with links, can be found here. Subsequently the Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions has brought together serious, non-confessional research on religions of all kinds.