Faith, Morality and Being Irish: A Caring Tradition in Africa

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University Press Of America, 2007 - Social Science - 154 pages
In the minds of many, the nineteenth-century Irish famine seemed to create an environment that later produced an avoidance of marriage, drunkenness, violence, and mental illness. If ever predominant in Irish cultural behavior, those moments have passed. As a result, Professors Philip L. Kilbride and Noel J. J. Farley outline the positive contributions the contemporary Irish make to the world around them, particularly Africa. From this, generosity emerges as a major Irish cultural virtue. The authors trace it from the Celtic period, showing how it became a central concern of Roman Catholics from the nineteenth-century to today. Professors Kilbride and Farley use ethnographic techniques and narrative perspective to focus on the life of an Irish entrepreneur and philanthropist who has lived in Africa since 1970. They also illuminate the missionary work in Kenya of an Irish Jesuit and others of Irish heritage there. These accounts, coupled with other narratives and historical evidence, detail the prevalence and practice of Irish generosity to further document what they conclude is an Irish caring tradition. This volume will be of interest to a wide audience including anthropologists, economists, historians, philosophers, political scientists, sociologists, theologians, and Irish and African studies programs. It is accessible to undergraduate and graduate students as a supplemental reading within the varieties of fields aforementioned. Book jacket.

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About the author (2007)

Philip L. Kilbride is Professor of Anthropology and the Mary Hale Chase Chair in the Social Sciences and Social Work. Noel J.J. Farley is Harvey Wexler Professor Emeritus of Economics.

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