"For a splendid cause": Irish missionary nuns at home and on the mission field, 1921-1962
Lynch, Kate (2012) "For a splendid cause": Irish missionary nuns at home and on the mission field, 1921-1962. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.
In the years following Ireland's political independence in 1922 the popularity of its missionary movement was unprecedented. This most Catholic of endeavours helped to assert Ireland's difference from Britain. Religious women actively participated in this process. Their medical work and subsequent representations of the mission fields contributed to a rhetoric of Irish nationalism that served to define postcolonial Ireland within a universal, Catholic discourse. However, the location of their missionary spaces, largely in British colonial Africa, brought the sisters into contact with the empire from which Ireland had recently withdrawn. In their encounters with local people, the sisters perpetuated a form of colonialism that will be studied as a seeming contradiction to the Catholic Church's stance against British rule in Ireland.
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