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In the shadow of the church: Irish and Quebec cinema

Gillan, Mary (2009) In the shadow of the church: Irish and Quebec cinema. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.

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Abstract

Ireland and the Canadian, largely francophone, province of Quebec share many similarities. Issues of religion, language and cultural identity have marked their history and influenced their relationship with their former English colonizer. The Catholic Church was a formidable force in both societies and shaped the public and private spheres. Quebec's 'Quiet Revolution' of the 1960s sounded the death knell of this Catholic state as rapid secularization shattered Church power. Social change and the erosion of Church influence had a more belated arrival in Ireland by comparison. It was not until the 1990s, amid unprecedented economic growth and revelations of serious and far-reaching clerical transgression, that the Church’s influence receded and it became a target of sustained media critique. This thesis will examine the historical and political reasons for the growth and decline of the Catholic Church in Quebec and Ireland, and highlight important differences in religious adherence. The cultural industries, especially film, were harnessed by both states to promote national self-expression while also attentive to the economic benefits of a film industry. However, film as it reflects national realities also problematises them, and it can be exploited to serve particular discourses. Through an analysis of key films, this thesis will track the evolving relationship of the Quebec and Irish populations with the Catholic Church. The core concerns of the thesis are the cyclical and relatively benign nature of Quebec's relationship with its Catholic heritage in contrast to Irish cinema's more troubled, and often bitter, one in films largely produced in the nineties. Ultimately, the trajectory of Quebec cinema’s relationship with the Church provides an intimation of the direction Irish society and its cinema is likely to take, as the full import of the loss of this grand narrative hits home.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Date of Award:March 2009
Refereed:No
Supervisor(s):Corcoran, Farrel
Uncontrolled Keywords:Irish cinema; Catholic church; Quebec cinema;
Subjects:Humanities > Religions
Humanities > Motion pictures
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of Communications
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:2206
Deposited On:03 Apr 2009 15:17 by Farrel Corcoran. Last Modified 03 Apr 2009 15:17

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