Moral Politics in Ireland
Untertitel: From Religious Domination to Political Indifference
AutorInnen: Weiberg-Salzmann, Mirjam Publikationsjahr: 2020
Religion has played a significant role in Ireland in the formation of the state and in shaping national identity. It is anchored both institutionally and in the collective memory. Although Catholicism as a source of national identity has been weakened in recent decades, many Irish people retain a sense of pride in the century’s long unifying band of Catholicism. However, the position of the church is today viewed much more critically. With regard to biopolitical topics, it is obvious that the dismissive attitude of the Catholic Church and the pro-lifers had led to an avoidance of a public debate among politicians, journalists, doctors, legal scholars and even economic actors in Ireland. Legal regulations exist for none of the new biotechnologies, not least because the right to a legal, unpunished abortion remains highly contested. The entire debate on biopolitics has taken place in a narrow institutional framework with limited participants and contents. The church operates like an institutional power player and would prefer to limit the discussion rather than to spread it. Neither the legal framework nor the social and ethical effects of the technologies are sufficiently opened up for discussion. The weakness of the political elite, the historical position of the Catholic Church as moral authority and societal power and the divide within the Irish population along a conservative-rural (religious) and modern-urban (secular) fault line are responsible for the lack of public (and political) discussions and the very slow institutionalisation of bioethics.