Ireland may be a land of many faiths but are they all conservative?

Dr Owen Dudley Edwards examines the state of religion in Ireland and suggests some historical factors which have led to the present sectarian society.

Ireland is a land of many faiths, passionate persuasions and widely differing rights.

This excerpt from the documentary shows a sequence of shots from differing religious ceremonies and practices including Catholic, Protestant and Jewish.

Narrator Owen Dudley Edwards describes Irish beliefs, whatever they may be, as conservative.

Their Protestantism is anti-permissive and uncompromising... Their Catholicism is austere, puritanical, Tridentine, tinged with Jansenism... Their Judaism is orthodox.

Paganism is no longer an official faith in Ireland and has no rights under the constitution. However, as Christianity is relatively young it is not surprising that elements of paganism are still part of the Irish belief system. This paganism is evident in festivals such as Puck Fair and Samhain and in superstitions.

'We The Irish: The Pastor' was written and presented by Owen Dudley Edwards.

The third episode in the series of 'We The Irish', titled 'The Pastor' was broadcast on 13 October 1971.