Bás InEirinn: cultural constructions of death in Ireland

Taylor, Lawrence J. (1989) Bás InEirinn: cultural constructions of death in Ireland. Anthropological Quarterly, 62 (4). pp. 175-187. ISSN 0003-5491

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“Bás InEirinn” (“To die in Ireland”) is a Gaelic drinking toast whose resonance is explored in this case study of the relation of meaning and power. By viewing death as opportunity as well as problem, I interpret varying cultural constructions of Irish death in light of the historical dialectic between the Catholic Church and popular practice. Whereas the Church has generally assumed control of the ritualization of death, there are also striking examples of creative popular responses, including re-adaptation of older popular occasions (American wakes) and even appropriation of Church forms for popular purposes (the IRA funeral).

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Death; Ireland; Catholicism; Europe; religion;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Anthropology
Item ID: 2020
Depositing User: Professor Lawrence J. Taylor
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2010 15:55
Journal or Publication Title: Anthropological Quarterly
Refereed: Yes

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