Contribution of the Religious Orders to Education in Glasgow During the Period 1847-1918

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This study describes, explains, analyzes and assesses the contribution of five teaching religious orders to the development of Catholic education in Glasgow from 1847, when, with the arrival of the Franciscan Sisters, Catholic religious life returned to Glasgow for the first time since the Reformation until 1918 and the passing of the landmark Education (Scotland) Act. It concentrates on the influence and achievements of the religious orders in their role as teachers and managers of a number of primary, secondary, and night schools in Glasgow as well as the contribution of the Sisters of Notre Dame in their particular role as educators of Catholic teachers in Glasgow. In 1918 Catholics in Scotland reversed the decision they took in 1872 to remain outside the national system of education. From 1918 religious education according to ‘use and wont’ was to be allowed within well-defined limits, but would not be fostered by the civil authority, and provision was made for a revision of the teacher-training system.


“The Glasgow of Dr. O’Hagan’s researches is a site of extraordinary contrasts; a city that in today’s terms might fittingly be described as ‘global’ in its reach and in the scale of its vitality and its grimness ... Dr. O’Hagan’s account of the interventions of the Roman Catholic religious orders in this unstable and challenging environment succeeds in calling into question may of the conventional explanations of the role of religion in working class culture and in the politics of Irish ethnicity ... One of the main achievements of the present work is its continuation of a tradition of educational scholarship with much still to contribute to the understanding of the past and with much primary source material still to be examined. No better tribute can be paid to the present book than to say that is has set the standard for all future work in the area and that it will continue to illuminate this unceasingly significant field of enquiry for some time to come.” – (from the Preface) Dr. Robert A. Davis, University of Glasgow

“The historiography of the Scottish Catholic community is lacking in terms of monographs. This fact alone makes for a warm welcome on the appearance of Dr. O’Hagan’s most interesting study of the contribution of the religious orders to Catholic education in Glasgow ... The central thesis – that the education offered by the religious orders in Glasgow looked out to the world rather an attempting to shut its pupils off from it – is one which needs to be heard ... Dr. O’Hagan has provided a text of real substance, full of new and most interesting material, gleaned from a wide reading of sources. He has produced a work of urban history which has much to say about how an impoverished, largely illiterate, immigrant population might be forged into a community with certain aspirations ...” – Dr. Raymond McCluskey, University of Glasgow

“Dr. O’Hagan is meticulous in charting the development of modern Catholic education in Scotland, and this has an added importance of being relevant for a number of debates currently circulating in Scottish society ... This book also adds to a growing literature on the Irish and Catholics in Scotland and is a welcome addition to this historiography ... Dr. O’Hagan’s work is not only a fine resource but is also a stimulating and provocative read which has the potential to provoke further study ... The author’s scholarly approach to this matter marks this work as important, essential and authoritative. This book will become a standard reference for any future exercise carried out with regard to such a diverse range of subjects ...” – Dr. Joseph M. Bradley, University of Stirling

"... his arguments for the valuable contributions to Glaswegian society are compelling." - Andrew Bonnell

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface by R.A. Davis
1. Conceptual and Contextual Frameworks
2. Glasgow 1847–1918: Educational, Social and Political Background
3. Mission and the Work of the Religious Orders in Glasgow
4. Church and State
5. The First Four Teaching Religious Orders in Glasgow
6. Catholic Teachers and Catholic Education in Glasgow
7. Conclusion: 1918 and Beyond

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