Women, Changing Worlds
Women in Northern Ireland
are active in the community and political endeavours that contribute
to the peace process. Women are also very involved in church life
in the province. Given this background of womens high community
and church participation, what is the contribution of evangelical
women to civic life in Northern Ireland? To look at this question,
the Centre for Contemporary Christianity in Ireland conducted a
research project exploring the church, community and political participation
of women from the evangelical community in Northern Ireland.
Hearing what women themselves
have to say was a vital part of this project. We therefore interviewed
evangelical women active in the church, community and/or politics
about their involvement in these areas and some of the related issues.
These interviews were confidential and anonymous. The research resulted
in a publication, Changing Women, Changing Worlds which is
suitable for use by individuals, church leaders and church groups.
in The Public Square
- Church in the Public
Square Final Report, Alwyn Thomson and John Kiess
- Renegotiating the Public
Square, Thomson, Kiess, Porter, Walker, Buckley, Keefe
Someone told me once that
there are over 200 different types of breakfast cereal, and in a
house with two young children we've probably tried most of them!
Some are sickly sweet, some are revolting to look at, some are puritanically
healthy, but when I find one that I like I tend to stick with it.
At the risk of sounding
like a cartoon vicar, sometimes evangelicalism is just like breakfast
cereal! The choice is bewildering. Classical evangelicals, fundamentalist
evangelicals, denominational and post-denominational evangelicals,
radical, conservative and charismatic, and of course post-evangelicals.
In Northern Ireland we probably have political and a-political evangelicals,
nationalist and unionist evangelicals, we even have Catholic evangelicals
(or evangelical Catholics) and possibly anti-Catholic evangelicals
(or evangelical anti-Catholics).
Has the on-going fracturing
of the evangelical movement led us to a point where the term evangelical
is now meaningless? What does it mean to be evangelical in Northern
Ireland today? How do evangelicals feel about politics, about the
quiet time? Who are the characteristic heroes and role models? How
confident or otherwise are evangelicals about the future? What about
their relationship with their denominations? How do evangelicals
regard Catholics? Ecumenists? The Irish?
These and other issues
have been the subject of a major research project in the Centre
for Contemporary Christianity in Ireland for publication in March
2001. Its aim is to help Christians understand a little better,
and to help outsiders to evangelicalism get an understanding of
what makes Christians what they are. It should also help us make
some sense of the diversity that's out there.
and Identity in Europe