The life and career of Archbishop Richard Whately

Ireland, religion and reform

Ciara Boylan

Hardback €45.00
Catalogue Price: €50.00
ISBN: 978-1-84682-640-5
April 2018. 216pp

“Ciara Boylan has produced an extensively researched biography of the similarly-inclined Church of Ireland archbishop of Dublin, Richard Whately (1787-1863). As an historian of Irish Catholicism, reading Boylan’s book is refreshing, as it provides a much-needed perspective on a time when at least some Irish Protestants, at some level, were communicating and cooperating over social issues with Irish Catholics. This is not always adequately appreciated in the existing historiography … The reader comes away from this biography with exactly Boylan’s description of Whately: a man whose commitment to his principles did not change even with circumstances; a Protestant archbishop who sought the good of Catholics not for their own sake but for the sake of the greater good of all citizens; and a philosopher who sought to implement his ideal society through the pursuit of a political economy in harmony with religion ... Boylan’s biography of Whately is more often one of a politician and philosopher than of a religious figure alone ... Boylan [has] produced a much needed biography of an influential Irish religious figure, contributing greatly to the history of education, religion and intellectual history, in Ireland.” Rose Luminiello. Journal of Ecclesiastical History (Vol. 70. 2019)

'[A] most interesting and enjoyable book ... Archbishop Whately was a man who struggled in a conservative church. Many of his views and opinions seem eminently sensible in our own day and we cannot but admire his dogged adherence to his principle in the face of much opposition and aggravation', Horace McKinley, The Church review: Dublin and Glendalough Diocesan Magazine (June 2018).