Dr Patrick Houlihan

Junior Research Fellow

I am a Research Fellow in Modern History, interested in the study of religion and violence.

My book, Catholicism and the Great War: Religion and Everyday Life in Germany and Austria-Hungary, 1914-1922 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), was awarded the Fraenkel Prize of the Wiener Library.

I obtained by PhD in History from the University of Chicago in 2011. Since 2016, I have been a member of Oxford's "Globalising and Localising the Great War" project and its research focus of "Global Religions." Our research group has received major multi-year funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the United Kingdom (AHRC)

Research interests

I am researching a book monograph that is a global history of the Catholic Church in the First World War. Putting the global with the local, this new book is a transnational study that challenges standard accounts dominated by elite actors, nation-state frameworks, and the chronology of 1914-1918.  I put European and US religious developments in dialogue with the Global South.

This book is a transnational, comparative study that challenges elite, state-centred instrumentalist readings of religion. Through extensive archival research, I portray an everyday “family” history of Catholic believers beyond the pope, bishops, and clergy—thus, including soldiers as well as women and children.  Challenging religious histories dominated by “just-war” preaching and loyalty to the nation-state, I argue that Catholics used their faith to cope with the war’s horrors much better than standard cultural narratives of secularization and literary modernism would have readers believe.

I am a member of the “Global Religions” section of Oxford’s “Globalising and Localising the Great War” project, funded by the AHRC.

Publications

Monographs:

Catholicism and the Great War: Religion and Everyday Life in Germany and Austria-Hungary, 1914-1922. Studies in the Social and Cultural History of Modern Warfare. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015) Awarded Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History, Wiener Library, 2015

 

Peer-Reviewed Articles:

“The Churches,” in 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, ed. by Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, and Bill Nasson, issued by Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin 2015-10-22. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15463/ie1418.10747 (peer-reviewed encyclopedia article)

 

“Religious Mobilization and Popular Belief,” in 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, ed. by Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, and Bill Nasson, issued by Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin 2015-08-26. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15463/ie1418.10716  (peer-reviewed encyclopedia article)

 

“Imperial Frameworks of Religion: Catholic Military Chaplains of Germany and Austria-Hungary during the First World War” First World War Studies 3, no. 2 (2012): 165-82.

 

“Local Catholicism as Transnational War Experience: Everyday Religious Practice in Occupied Northern France, 1914-1918” Central European History 45, no. 2 (June 2012): 233-67.

 

Book Chapters:

“Introduction: Re-thinking Decline and Fall: The Catholic Church in Habsburg Central Europe during the Great War,” in Gerhard Dabringer, (Hg.), 1914-2014. Kirchen im Krieg. (Vienna: Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, forthcoming).

 

“Religiöse Lebenswelten in Krieg und Frieden,” in Michael Geyer et al. (eds.), Zeitalter der Gewalt. Zur Geopolitik und Psychopolitik des Ersten Weltkrieges,  pp 199-218. Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2015.

 

“Was There an Austrian Stab-in-the-Back Myth? Interwar Military Interpretations of Defeat,” In Günter Bischof, Fritz Plasser, and Peter Berger (eds.), From Empire to Republic: Post-World War I Austria. Vol. 19, Contemporary Austrian Studies, edited by Günter Bischof and Fritz Plasser, pp. 67-89.  New Orleans: University of New Orleans Press, 2010