The Marginality of ‘Irish Mormonism’
Confronting Irish Boundaries of Belonging
This article builds upon existing literature which demonstrates the complex interconnections of Catholicism, Irishness, and whiteness in the Republic of Ireland. Using this multifaceted inter-relationship between religious, national, and racial identities as its starting point, this article analyses negotiations of Irishness, community, and belonging amongst adherents of Mormonism in Ireland.
This article firstly argues that as members of a minority religion Mormons in Ireland of all backgrounds are stigmatised and marginalised from Irish narratives of ‘belonging’. Secondly, this article determines that as the majority of Mormons in Ireland are white Irish, in keeping with the majority population, they view themselves and are viewed by others as both insiders and outsiders within their own country. Thirdly, this article demonstrates how Mormons in Ireland with racialised identities also navigate a complex system of racial, religious, and national affiliations. Thus, this article establishes that Mormons of all backgrounds in Ireland struggle to gain acceptance and belonging within the national narrative of belonging.
Finally, this article identifies the processes through which Mormons in Ireland work to create belonging to the national narrative. For some, emphasising their identity as Christian is a way to find commonality with the majority Catholic population in Ireland. For others, a celebration and reinterpretation of Irishness is used as a tool to build a dual sense of belonging; to others within an increasingly diverse Mormon community in Ireland, and to the wider society.