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    Catholics, science and civic culture in Victorian Belfast

    Finnegan, Diarmid A. and Wright, Jonathan Jeffrey (2015) Catholics, science and civic culture in Victorian Belfast. British Journal for the History of Science, 48 (2). pp. 261-287. ISSN 1474-001X

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    The connections between science and civic culture in the Victorian period have been extensively, and intensively, investigated over the past several decades. Limited attention, however, has been paid to Irish urban contexts. Roman Catholic attitudes towards science in the nineteenth century have also been neglected beyond a rather restricted set of thinkers and topics. This paper is offered as a contribution to addressing these lacunae, and examines in detail the complexities involved in Catholic engagement with science in Victorian Belfast. The political and civic geographies of Catholic involvement in scientific discussions in a divided town are uncovered through an examination of five episodes in the unfolding history of Belfast’s intellectual culture. The paper stresses the importance of attending to the particularities of local politics and scientific debate for understanding the complex realities of Catholic appropriations of science in a period and urban context profoundly shaped by competing political and religious factions. It also reflects more generally on how the Belfast story supplements and challenges scholarship on the historical relations between Catholicism and science.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Catholics; science; civic culture; Victorian Belfast;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > History
    Item ID: 6599
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Jonathan Wright
    Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2015 10:43
    Journal or Publication Title: British Journal for the History of Science
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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