Considering Grace: Presbyterians and the Troubles review
Gladys Ganiel and Jamie Yohanis’s oral history maps church’s role as peacemaker in NI
Mary Robinson and Dr Andrew Rodgers, a former moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, at a reception in 1994 at Áras an Uachtaráin. Photograph: Frank Miller
The 50th anniversary of the onset of the Troubles has produced a lot of soul-searching. This book is part of that. Do not be put off by the title and the theology which threads though it – it has, after all been conceived by the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI). The book takes the form of multiple oral histories and the categories are well-chosen, its key theme how the PCI conducted itself during the Troubles and how that can inform ongoing peacebuilding.
Undeniably, all the churches were in an impossible situation during the Troubles. Witness the images of Catholic priests conducting IRA funerals, particularly during the hunger strikes, giving the impression to detractors that they condoned their activities.