Vocationalism and Social Catholicism in Twentieth Century Ireland
By Don O'Leary
The purpose of this book is to present a comprehensive explanation of the origins, development and decline of vocationalism in twentieth-century Ireland. Vocationalism, based on papal social teaching, featured prominently in social Catholicism through the 1930s and 40s. The vocationalist lobby demanded radical reforms which, if realized, would have replaced the political, economic and social structure of Irish national life with corporatist organizations based on Roman Catholic social principles. In the newly independent southern Irish state, with its large Catholic majority, vocationalism attracted significant support and the extent of its popular appeal in the 1930s is reflected by the inclusion of vocationalist provisions in the Constitution of Ireland (1937). The popularization of vocationalist ideas occurred against a background of momentous political developments. Popularization, however, did not lead to spontaneous proliferation and growth of vocational organizations. Despite the difficulties which confronted them, the vocationalists persisted with their demands, attempting to persuade successive Irish governments to implement their recommendations. This book examines the outcome of their protracted campaign, focusing in particular on the attitude of ?amon de Valera.
Publication Date: 6/12/2000