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

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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.

Affiliations: 1: Study of Religions Department, University College Cork Ireland


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