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📙 Piety and Nationalism: Lay Voluntary Associations and the Creation of an Irish-Catholic Community in Toronto, 1850-1895 by Brian P. Clarke — download pdf


While the role of the laity in the nationalist awakening is commonly recognized, their part in the movement for religious renewal is usually minimized. Initiative on the part of the laity has been thought to have existed only outside the church, where it remained a troubling and at times insurgent force. Clarke revises this picture of the role of the laity in church and community. He examines the rich associational life of the laity, which ranged from nationalist and fraternal associations independent of the church to devotional and philanthropic associations affiliated with the church. Associations both inside and outside the church fostered ethnic consciousness in different but complementary ways that resulted in a cultural consensus based on denominational loyalty. Through these associations, lay men and women developed an institutional base for the activism and initiative that shaped both their church and their community. Clarke demonstrates that lay activists played a pivotal role in transforming the religious life of the community.


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