This book attempts to tell the story of the Church of Ireland in the context of Irish history, helping the reader to understand some of the situations in which the Church found itself, and still finds itself. Dr Milne is aware of the importance of writing about the Church's past in the context of the wider context of Irish history.
The Church of Ireland traces its history back to the coming of Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century. Kenneth Milne here outlines briefly and simply that history from the beginning, down through the Reformation period, when the church was established as the State church. There followed centuries of plantations and penal laws until eventually, in the nineteenth century, the church was disestablished. The final chapter brings the story through changing times to our own day.
The book attempts to tell the story of the Church in the context of Irish history, helping the reader to understand some of the situations in which the Church found itself, and still finds itself. Dr Milne is aware of the importance of writing about the Church's past in the context of the wider context of Irish history. This is particularly vital given the Church of Ireland's role as the Established (State) Church for several hundred years and its political role in Irish life from the Reformation onwards. The text begins with the origins of Christianity in Ireland and the latest revision brings the story to the present with some attention to the ecumenical movement, Prayer Book revision and the ordination of women to priesthood and the episcopate .While he revised each edition with the general reader in mind I tried to ensure that I kept abreast of developments in Irish historiography, and included a bibliography for whose who might wish to read more deeply. With the inclusion in recent years of Religious Studies in the state examinations in the Republic and emphasis on students becoming conversant with the beliefs and practices of at least one Christian tradition other than their own, later editions have borne in mind a possible readership beyond members of the Church of Ireland.
Kenneth Milne is a former secretary of the Board of Education of the General Synod of the Church of Ireland and principal of the Church of Ireland College of Education. He was convenor of the European Affairs Committee of the Irish Council of Churches and a member of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA). He has published widely on Irish education and Anglicanism. This is his first publication with Messenger Publications.