Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Jordan, Richard L. B. A. University of Southern Mississippi, 2000. M. A. University of Southern Mississippi, 2002. Doctor of Philosophy, Fall Commencement, 2008. Major: History. The Second Coming of Paisley: Militant Fundamentalism and Ulster Politics in a Transatlantic Context. Dissertation directed by Associate Professor Meredith Veldman. Pages in dissertation, 345. Words in Abstract, 277. ABSTRACT On August 1, 1946, the Reverend Ian Paisley was ordained as the minister of the Ravenhill Evangelical Mission Church in Belfast, Northern Ireland. From his new pulpit, the young evangelist embarked on a six-decade crusade attacking Irish theological and political issues and espousing militant fundamentalism and premillennial pessimism: Paisley confronted the liberal, modernist, and ecumenical trends within Irish Protestantism, the attempted political rapprochement between protestant Unionists and catholic nationalists in Northern Ireland, and the Northern Irish civil rights movement. Paisley also opposed the Irish Republican Army and any move towards the political reunification of Ireland. In 1971, Paisley and his political allies formed the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to articulate his political agenda. Paisley and his party were successful, becoming the prominent protestant political organization in Northern Ireland. In May 2007 Paisley became the First Minister of the Northern Ireland statelet. But as Paisley and the DUP grew in popularity, Paisley offered political solutions that compromised his Calvinist and premillennial religiosity. The Reverend Ian Paisley’s career and transformation, however, did not take place solely within the context of Irish history, religiosity, and politics. During the 1950s and 1960s, Paisley made alliances with militant fundamentalists in North America. The most important was the Reverend Carl McIntire, a minister whose public protests and attacks on fellow Christians Paisley emulated. Paisley’s aggressive crusade twice landed him in jail, for which McIntire and North Americans portrayed Paisley as a “martyr” for their version of Bible Protestantism. International support not only bolstered Paisley’s prestige in Northern Ireland, but also his own sense of destiny as a Protestant “prophet.” This dissertation traces Paisley’s transformation from a premillennial fundamentalist crusader into an amillennial politician.



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Committee Chair

Meredith Veldman



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