Religion, landscape and settlement in Ireland

From Patrick to present


Kevin Whelan

Hardback €40.50
Catalogue Price: €45.00
ISBN: 978-1-84682-756-3
November 2018. 304pp; ills.

'The sheer audacity of this undertaking by Kevin Whelan is nothing short of breathtaking. Covering the period from 432 up to 2018, and dealing with a topic as contentious as religion has always been in Ireland, was ambitious in itself. But then adopting a 32-county approach must have added considerably to the workload, given the stark sectarian problems which have characterised the Six Counties of the northern province since the time of the plantations.

This is clearly the book that Whelan felt he had to write, the one which marries his considerable skills as a historian and social commentator, while also providing an outlet for his passionate interest in the religious landscape of Ireland [...] Whelan’s scholarly study points out the innumerable links between religion and Ireland’s cultural heritage, links that can be seen in literature, folklore and the built environment', Eamon Maher, Irish Times (January 2018).

'Kevin Whelan is a unique figure in the Irish literary ecosystem: historical geographer, social historian, critic and public intellectual [...] The striking covers, an ethereal seaward view across three beehives huts on Skellig Michael, sets the scene for a fast-moving, bracing and at times controversial analysis of how religious practice and religious identity have evolved over the long run, using the evidence of landscape and maps, archaeology and material culture [...] superb but quite diverse interpretative maps populate this text [...] As in much of Whelan's writing, the advocacy is powerful and he takes no promises', David Dickson, History Ireland (Mar.–Apr. 2019).

'This book is one which will interest a wide range of readers [... it] will inspire I think a great deal of reading, research , and travel in both city and country [...] this is a book which can be warmly welcomed', The Irish Catholic (Feb. 2019).