Marching Backwards: The World of Orangeism

Patrick Mitchel

in Evangelicalism and National Identity in Ulster, 1921-1998

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780199256150
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602115 | DOI:
Marching Backwards: The World of Orangeism

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While claiming to be an expression of Reformed evangelical faith, analysis of Orange ideology—such as its use of political and spiritual legitimation, heroes and myths, symbols and rituals—shows that the movement’s significant political influence has depended on it being a religious expression of Unionist national identity. Given this symbiotic relationship, Orangeism has proved ideologically incapable of creating distance from the goals of unionism and is therefore an example of closed evangelicalism. Like unionism, Orangeism finds itself increasingly isolated and impotent to control its destiny. Political marginalization, increasing internal pressures, and limited vision threaten the onset of terminal decline.

Keywords: Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland; legitimation; loyalism; rituals; Royal Arch Purple Order; Royal Black Institution; symbols; Martin Smyth; The Reformation; The Twelfth

Chapter.  14900 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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