Welcome to Studies
Welcome to this website of Studies, the Irish Jesuit quarterly which has been appearing without a break since it was originally launched in 1912. Throughout more than a hundred years – a rare achievement among periodicals – Studies has sought to examine a wide range of Irish issues, social, political, cultural and economic, in the light of Christian values and to explore the Irish dimension in history, literature, philosophy and religion.
Contributors, national and international, come from a variety of backgrounds but the focus of commentary and reflection is the dialogue of faith and culture in Ireland today. Among those who have written for Studies over the years are Patrick Pearse, Denis Gwynn, Seán Lemass, Francis Shaw SJ, George Russell, John Maynard Keynes, Daniel Binchy, Michael Tierney, Patrick Lynch, Donal Barrington, Sean O’Faoláin, Garret Fitzgerald, Tom Garvin, Bryan Fanning, Finola Kennedy, Peter Sutherland, John Bruton, Micheál Martin, Michael Paul Gallagher SJ, Martin Mansergh, Ruairi Quinn, Gerry O’Hanlon SJ, Declan Kiberd, Emily O’Reilly, Iseult Honohan, David Alton, Austen Ivereigh, John O’Malley SJ, Frank Brennan SJ, Antonio Spadaro SJ and Ronan Fanning.
Topics addressed in recent issues include Religious Freedom in the 21st Century, Seamus Heaney Remembered, The Pity of War 1914-1918, The Arts and Jesuit Influence in the Era of Catholic Reform, 1916: Birth Pangs of a Nation?, Freedom of Speech: How Far Can You Go?, and Europe in Crisis.
In this Autumn issue of Studies, Democracy In Peril?, Professor Thomas Mitchell sets the scene in his lucid presentation of democracy’s origins in fifth-century bc Athens and the remarkable legacy to which it has given rise. Martin Mansergh examines the Merits, Limitations and Alternatives of Democracy. Dr Patrick Riordan, whose specialism is political philosophy, treats the topic of democracy at another level. He raises the question as to whether what we are currently seeing is a crisis of democracy itself, as is commonly supposed, or, rather, a crisis of meaning. Stephen Collins’s includes a more hopeful analysis of the current state of Irish politics and the strength of the centre in this current issue of Studies. Former Taoiseach John Bruton, a vastly experienced and authoritative observer of events in this part of the world, delivered the Grattan Lecture in the Irish Embassy in London on Monday 12 June 2017, one year on from the Brexit referendum. Reproduced here in very slightly modified form, it offers an unappealing prognosis of what the outcome is going to mean – for Britain itself, in the first instance, but, more worryingly from our point of view, for Ireland too. Contemplating the uncertain state of democracy in the world at large, description and diagnosis is easier than prescriptions for recovery. Fr Edmond Grace, who has been working in the field for more than a decade, reports on interesting initiatives he and a group of collaborators have been developing in a small but visionary way at the local level in Ireland.
Dr Fáinche Ryan’s essay on John Henry Newman’s famous 1859 paper, ‘On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine’, was originally delivered in June 2016 in Trinity College, Dublin, at the Loyola Institute conference, ‘The Role of Church in a Pluralist Society: Good Riddance or Good Influence?’, of which she was one of the principal organisers. It is not strictly part of the earlier discussion on democracy in this issue of Studies and ‘consulting the faithful’ is not quite what Edmond Grace refers to as ‘the dialogue between state and citizen’ in his account of ‘PeopleTalk’. Dr Damian Howard’s article on the Jesuit founder St Ignatius Loyola and the apostolate to Islam in his day and among his followers in the centuries since is not part of the discussion on democracy in these pages either.
Founded in 1912, Studies: A Quarterly Review, examines Irish social, political, cultural and economic issues in the light of Christian values and explores the Irish dimension in literature, history, philosophy and religion.
An Irish Century. Studies 1912-2012, edited by Bryan Fanning, containing some of the most important contributions to the journal over its hundred years, was published in 2012 by UCD Press, and continues to be available through the website www.ucdpress.ie