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The Oxford History of Protestant Dissenting Traditions, Volume IIThe Long Eighteenth Century c. 1689-c. 1828$
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Andrew Thompson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198702245

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198702245.001.0001

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Protestant Dissent in Ireland

Protestant Dissent in Ireland

(p.119) 6 Protestant Dissent in Ireland
The Oxford History of Protestant Dissenting Traditions, Volume II

Andrew R. Holmes

Oxford University Press

Protestant Dissent was religiously and politically important in eighteenth-century Ireland. Presbyterians who arrived from Scotland after 1600 comprised the bulk of Dissenters whereas smaller groups who owed their origin largely to the arrival of Cromwellian forces stagnated or declined after 1700. Dissenters were part of a protestant minority in predominantly Catholic Ireland, yet Presbyterians were excluded from full participation in public life by the Church of Ireland ruling elite. This fuelled political dissent that was, in turn, informed by New Light Presbyterianism that rejected subscription to theological formularies; yet most Presbyterians remained religiously conservative and Seceder Presbyterianism grew significantly from the 1750s. At the same time, Presbyterians became more active in movements of political reform, which culminated in the involvement of many in the 1798 rebellion. Yet perhaps the more significant religious legacy of the 1790s was the growth of evangelical sentiment, especially in Ulster.

Keywords:   Baptists, Enlightenment, Evangelicalism, Francis Hutcheson, Ireland, political radicalism, Presbyterians, Quakers, subscription toleration

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