The resurgence of the Catholic Church is central to the religious history of early modern Ireland. Covering the crucial years between the church's post-war trauma in 1603 and its vigorous condition by the 1641 rising, this book explores the revival within the province of Armagh, which includes both Ulster and the northern Pale. Continentally-trained priests, secular and religious, contributed much; but they faced considerable opposition from traditionalist clergy. In the Pale, the close alliance of new-style clergy with the landed and urban élites enabled the Catholic community to withstand the state's religious coercion which was prevalent down to about 1620. Thereafter, building on educational links with the Continent established earlier, the church was able to adopt a more vibrant and assertive role.
Brian Mac Cuarta SJ has written articles on early modern Ireland, and edited the volume Ulster 1641 (Belfast, 1993). He is currently tutor in history at Queen's University Belfast.