Monday, 2 November 2009

Profesoro Larry Taylor la Irish Times:

He’s a New York Jew who speaks fluent Irish and is an expert in the anthropology of Irish Catholicism. Now, he’s making international connections for NUI Maynooth…

Professor Lawrence Taylor was seen as an ideal choice to represent NUI Maynooth in its effort to expand and cement its partnerships and dealings with international universities.

Taylor had been head of the department of anthropology in NUI Maynooth for almost 10 years when he was appointed as Dean of International Education last year….

…Learning the Irish language was just one element that allowed him to get under the skin of the community, but it was an important one. He developed a fascination in particular with the role of the Catholic Church and the priest in the community and gradually, that took over as his main area of research.

Throughout those years, Taylor published articles on all sorts of areas, but Donegal remained to the fore. In 1995, he secured a deal with Lilliput Press to publish his breakthrough work, Occasions of Faith – An Anthropology of Irish Catholics.

The book was shortlisted for the Turner prize for ethnographic writing and has become one of the seminal works on the topic. “That was simply a brilliant book,” said one peer…

…After the publication of Occasions of Faith , he was approached by the then president of the new NUI Maynooth, Séamus Smyth. By then it was 1997 and Smyth enticed Taylor to take up the newly created position of professor of anthropology in the university….

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