From Scottish Independence, to Brexit, and Back Again

Orange Order Ethno-religion and the Awkward Urgency of British Unionism

in Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale
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Joseph WebsterDowning College, UK Jw557@cam.ac.uk

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Abstract

The Orange Order is an ultra-Protestant and ultra-British fraternity dedicated to professing ‘hostility to the distinctive despotism of the Church of Rome’, and to preserving Scotland's constitutional place within the UK. According to Scots-Orangemen, these two commitments are united in opposing Scottish National Party capitulations to a Papacy hell-bent on cleaving Scotland from the UK and her Protestant monarch. Thus, while the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum posed an existential threat to Orange Protestant-unionism, Brexit allowed push-back against an ultramontane plot to use the EU to destroy British sovereignty. Ironically – and awkwardly – the British unionism of Brexit (which the Order celebrates) looks set to reinvigorate calls for Scottish independence (which the Order dreads). This paper examines the acute political crises that such referendums create, arguing that Orange political urgency can only be understood as part of a more chronic (and thus less urgent, if no less serious) ‘Roman’ threat to Protestant ethno-religious supremacy.

L'Ordre d'Orange est une fraternité ultra-protestante et ultra-britannique qui se consacre à professer son “hostilité au despotisme distinctif de l’Église de Rome” et à préserver la place constitutionnelle de l’Écosse au sein du Royaume-Uni. Selon les Écossais-Orangistes, ces deux engagements s'unissent pour s'opposer aux capitulations du Scottish National Party devant une papauté déterminée à séparer l’Écosse du Royaume-Uni et de son monarque protestant. Ainsi, alors que le référendum de 2014 sur l'indépendance de l’Écosse représentait une menace existentielle pour le protestantisme orangiste, le Brexit a permis de repousser un complot ultramontain visant à utiliser l'Union Européenne (UE) pour détruire la souveraineté britannique. Ironiquement ¬— et maladroitement — l'unionisme britannique du Brexit (que l'Ordre célèbre) semble destiné à revigorer les appels à l'indépendance de l’Écosse (que l'Ordre redoute). Cet article examine les crises politiques aiguës que de tels référendums créent, en soutenant que l'urgence politique de l'Ordre d'Orange ne peut être comprise que comme faisant partie d'une menace “romaine” plus chronique (et donc moins urgente, mais non moins sérieuse) pour la suprématie ethno-religieuse protestante.

Every year at the end of June, the Orange Order in Scotland hold several Boyne parades across the Central Belt, from Edinburgh in the east to Glasgow in the West, with thousands of marchers and spectators in attendance. The main events of the day – Orange Lodge and Loyalist Flute Band parades, open air religious services, political and religious speeches – commemorate the historic victory of Protestant King William III of Orange over Catholic King James II of Scotland at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. While these parades in Scotland are certainly large, they pale in comparison to the size of near identical Boyne parades which occur across Northern Ireland every 12 July, many of which are attended not just by Orangemen from across Ulster, but by their Scottish brethren as well. As these Orange informants of mine marched along the ‘Queen's Highway’ on both sides of the Irish Sea, they enacted a celebration of the history of British Protestant ascendancy and their contemporary ‘Orange culture’ (see Webster 2020). Connected to this was an equally important experience of the Orange parade as a demonstration of Protestant strength in modern-day Scotland and Northern Ireland, and a demonstration against the religious and political ambitions of a Roman Catholic Church said by Orangemen to be hell-bent on eradicating the Protestant faith by undermining the British constitutional structures seen to underpin it.

This paper takes Central Scotland and Scottish Orangemen as its ethnographic focus, but necessarily also discusses the Orange Order as it exists in Northern Ireland. Bearing this focus in mind, how do these ‘celebrations’ and ‘demonstrations’ of Scotland's Protestant past and present relate to imaginations of Scotland's constitutional future? Why did Orangemen believe a ‘Yes’ vote in the 2014 independence referendum – which would have triggered Scotland's departure from the UK – threatened catastrophe for the religion, nationalism and fraternity of Orangeism? Conversely, why did many of these same Orangemen believe a ‘Leave’ vote in the 2016 Brexit referendum – bringing about the UK's departure from the EU – had the potential to usher in something of a Protestant-unionist-loyalist renaissance?

Noting that these beliefs placed Scots-Orangemen on the opposite side of constitutional debates to that of their political enemy – the governing Scottish National Party (SNP, who remain pro-independence and anti-Brexit) – is necessary but not sufficient in explaining what was (and still is) held to be at stake in these political events. To make matters more complex, it needs to be recognised that Scots-Orangemen also remain vexed by the impact any constitutional change may have on Northern Ireland's long-term place within the UK. From the ultra-unionist perspective of Scottish Orangemen, then, while the SNP's failure to achieve Scottish independence was celebrated as a concomitant blow to Sinn Fein's hopes for a border poll to end Irish partition, Orange celebrations of the Brexit result have begun to be tempered by the realisation that any future Brexit settlement designed to avoid a ‘hard border’ of customs checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will likely introduce differential trading arrangements between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK – a compromise feared by all Orangemen as a slippery slope to a united Ireland. Equally, having now left the EU despite the fact that 62 percent of Scots voted to remain, this forced departure has become another galvanising force behind the SNP's campaign for a second independence referendum.

In this Gordian knot of the pan-European internationalism of the EU, the pro-European Scottish and Irish nationalism of the SNP and Sinn Fein, the Eurosceptic British unionism of the Conservative Party in England and Scotland, and the staunchly anti-European ultra-British unionism of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland, what does it mean to be an Orangeman? And what, in this context, can Orange debates about the ‘dirty politics’ (Blom Hansen 2000) of Scottish independence and Brexit tell us about the notion of urgency? How do acute political crises triggered by time-bound referenda, for example, relate to chronic (and thus less urgent, if no less serious, and certainly no less ‘dirty’) religious conflicts founded on deep-seated sectarian bigotry? And what, finally, might the temporal shape of urgency tell us about practical acts of Orange urging as they occur in formal parade-day speeches, casual pub banter and debate, and door-to-door constitutional campaigning? It is questions such as these that I seek to explore in this paper – but first, a word of context.

The Orange Context

Between 2012 and 2016, I conducted ethnographic fieldwork among members and supporters of the Orange Order, a Protestant parading organisation and ‘friendly society’ founded in Ireland in 1796 and in Scotland in 1798. Similar in style and structure to Freemasonry, the Order in Scotland is a 50,000 strong male-only fraternity comprising of two ritual degrees (the Orange and the Royal Arch Purple), the symbolism of which is drawn primarily from Old Testament stories and imagery related to the Exodus wanderings of the Ancient Israelites. In Scotland, too, the Order is almost exclusively working-class and largely urban, having long had a strong presence across the Central Belt, particularly in the post-industrial west.1 The Order is also ultra-British and ultra-unionist, and thus fiercely anti-Nationalist and anti-Independence2 – attitudes which map onto a bitter and sometimes violent rivalry between Glasgow's two main football clubs, ‘Protestant’ Rangers RC and ‘Catholic’ Celtic FC. While it sees itself as the last true defender of the ‘values’ of Protestantism, fraternalism, patriotism, conservatism, royalism, loyalism, militarism and colonialism, its many critics across wider Scottish society typically see the Order as primarily an anti-Catholic and sectarian organisation – a nineteenth-century throw-back that has ‘no place’ in ‘modern Scotland’ (see Webster 2020). The Order, in return, brands its ‘enemies’ as ‘disloyal republicans’ who seek to ‘demonise’ and ‘destroy’ everything British in Scotland and in Ulster. Put simply, the Orange Order attracts strong feelings on both sides of the ‘sectarian divide’ (cf. Rosie 2004).

As well as observing Orange parades, my fieldwork involved attending Lodge church services, shadowing volunteers at the Grand Lodge archive, going to loyalist flute band practices, observing Union flag protests, attending Rangers FC games at Ibrox, and frequenting Orange Social Clubs. Crucially for the purposes of this paper, from 2012 onwards I also closely followed the Order's official campaign against Scottish independence, dubbed ‘British Together’, observing many Orangemen as they fought for a ‘No’ vote. While I did so, and as I continued my fieldwork into the latter half of 2016, I also learned much about my Orange informants’ views relating to Brexit, with increasing numbers expressing support for a Leave vote, as well as, in some cases, direct support for UKIP. Yet, perhaps unsurprisingly given the Order's staunch unionist commitments, it was the Scottish independence referendum which dominated political discussions with my informants both before and after 2014. As the date of the referendum – 18 September 2014 – drew closer, the spectre of an independent Scotland brought into sharp relief what the Institution stood for – and against – religiously, politically and ethno-nationally.

As a result, drawing out connections between Protestant cosmology, unionist commitments and the everyday experiences of Scots-Orangemen required little ethnographic prompting, with the principles and practices of Orangeism having been laid bare by the political events of recent years. In the context of the ongoing Scotland-wide debate on independence, fault lines, too, have been laid bare, both inside and outside the Order. The Institution's formal exclusion from the mainstream cross-party unionist campaign ‘Better Together’ (largely on the basis that, according to Jim Murphy MP, Orange sympathisers were ‘unsavoury’) is mirrored, for example, by the Orange hierarchy distancing itself from more ‘radical’ loyalist voices within the Protestant flute band scene, as well as among some of its own grass roots members. Yet, while there was a hesitancy among some Orange leaders to associate too closely with hardline loyalism given its paramilitary links, this should not be taken as indicating a toleration of Scottish nationalism within its own ranks. Indeed, in all my years of fieldwork among Scots-Orangemen, I only ever met one supporter of independence – a view so blasphemously out-of-step with the Order's Protestant-unionist convictions that many Orangemen openly called for this individual to be expelled from membership. Such was the religion of Orange politics.

Divine Queenship and the Menace of Rome

But what made Orange support for Scottish independence tantamount to blasphemy? Put another way, what was it, more broadly, that was religious about the Order's desire to see Scotland remain part of the UK? When I asked these questions during fieldwork, while my Orange informants would answer in different ways and with different emphases, a core nexus of claims about the essentially religious nature of British constitutional politics remained broadly the same, and may be summarised as follows. The Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is titled ‘Defender of the Faith’. While the faith which she defends is specifically the Anglicanism of the Church of England (as opposed to the Presbyterianism dominant in Scotland and Northern Ireland), what mattered most was that the monarchy, and thus the entire British State, was kept unquestionably Protestant. Crucially, for Orangemen, British monarchical Protestantism was enshrined in law, in the Act of Settlement 1701, which stated, since the reign of William III, that a Catholic could not become King or Queen of England, and would instead be treated in the line of succession ‘as though naturally dead’.

As above, for my informants who were most concerned to safeguard the 1701 Act, the power of this post-Boyne ‘settlement’ won by the Prince of Orange resided in its negative force, just as much as in its positive force. Being ‘Defender of the Faith’, I was told, was not only about safeguarding the freedom to live and worship as a British Protestant, but was also centrally about keeping the British monarchy, and thus the British State, free from the malevolent influence of Roman Catholicism. Despite post-Vatican II3 claims to the contrary, my Orange informants insisted that the ultramontane ambitions of the Papacy to reign supreme in all matters religion and politics remained utterly unchanged. ‘I'm sorry to sound like a broken record’, Dennis, a close Orange informant told me, ‘but Rome has stayed the same for 800 years, and it willna change – it's the “Holy Roman Faith” as they see it’ (Webster 2020: 156). Such sentiments also resided at the very heart of the Order's Grand Lodge. When working in the Grand Lodge archive, I discovered the following inscription in a tourist coffee table book titled This is Rome (Webster 2020: 71):

This book may be 30 years out of print – but the menace of Rome is still the same! She has not changed! She cannot change! For were she to relent or change one iota, she would cease to be Rome. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

Grand Lodge Hierarchy

I have written elsewhere how such sentiments produced a complex cosmology of anti-Catholic conspiracism which helped to define what Orange Protestantism was, but always in relation to what it was not (Webster 2020: passim). My point in this paper is a more specific one, namely that the co-constitution (and thus the inseparability) of Orange politics and religion can, nonetheless, be partially distinguished by their differential temporal framing. Thus, while Orange vigilance against Roman Catholic incursions into British politics – as framed, in this case, by the Scottish independence referendum – are held to present an acute short-term nationalist threat to the constitutional integrity of the UK, the urgency of such political vigilance needs to be understood as part of a bigger and more chronic long-term Papal threat to the Protestant makeup of the UK which had been brewing for half a millennia, ever since the Reformation (on the notion of ‘chronic crisis’, cf. Vigh 2008).

For the sake of clarity, I will summarise the chronic nature of this threat as simply as the data allow. The Roman Catholic Church, I was told, and most of all the Vatican hierarchy and the Papacy, hated everything British because, ever since King Billy's victory at the Boyne, Britishness was de facto Protestant. While the regalia might have become more muted, the real-world intent behind the symbolism of the Papal ‘triple crown’, I was assured, remained very much i n place, rendering every Pope as ‘father of princes and kings, ruler of the world, [and] vicar on earth of our Saviour Jesus Christ’. As such, the Act of Settlement – and indeed the very existence of British Protestantism – stood as an affront to the office and global ambitions of the Pope. Moreover, for many of my grassroots Orange informants, it was the reality of this unchanging (and unchangeable) ‘menace’ about Catholic demands for Papal supremacy which acted as the lens through which all of political life could (and should) be most clearly viewed. In order to better understand the differential temporal framings my informants brought to bear on the constitutional crises and religious conflicts they faced, as well as what this might tell us about the notion of urgency, I first want to describe in some detail what one might see when viewing European, British, Irish and Scottish political history through this (Orange-tinted) lens. In the spirit of such a description, what appears in the rest of this section should be read purely as ethnographic data, collated from years of conversation with Scots-Orangemen. As such, the Orange claims made below are stated without qualification, as if they were unquestionably true (for a very different analytical approach, see Rosie 2014).

With its long-term goal of destroying British Protestantism, the Papacy – and ultramontane Roman Catholicism more generally – has seized every lever of power it could, from controlling the EU, to figures within the British monarchy, to Sinn Fein and the SNP, to the local politics of Scottish Councils. With a stranglehold over not only priests and their parishes, but also many ‘princes and kings’, there were few places left untouched by the Papacy's tentacles. Historically, while the Catholic Church agitated to create both World Wars, Papal military aggression against Britain could be seen most clearly in the events of the Second World War. Not only were Hitler and Mussolini both Catholic, but supposedly neutral Catholic Ireland deliberately left their lights on during the UK blackout to guide the Luftwaffe to Belfast, Liverpool, and onwards to London during the worst days of the blitz. The Republic of Ireland's aim was simple; help Rome to defeat their shared British enemy as a route to reuniting Ireland and ‘cleansing’ it of Protestants.

 Post-war, in a further attempt to conquer Europe and Britain, the Papacy took control of efforts to reunite the Continent with the signing of the (unsubtly named) Treaty of Rome in 1957, creating the European Economic Community (now the EU). The evidence of this (literally) demonic Catholic conspiracy was there for all but the most wilfully blind to see:4 firstly, the EU flew a flag of a Marian crown of twelve stars on a field of Marian blue. Secondly, the architecture of the European Parliament building in Strasberg was clearly modelled after the Tower of Babel (see also Foye 2020) and sought to undo God's solution to Babel by promoting Esperanto as a universal language (Genesis 11). Thirdly, the EU actively facilitated the arrival of the Mark of the Beast by making it impossible to buy or sell without using Euros, which EU officials designed as a universal currency (Rev 13). That the image on the €2 coin of Greece blatantly depicts the Harlot riding the Beast (Rev 17) merely confirmed its demonic origin and design.

 Such truths about demonic-Catholic control of the EEC/EU became undeniable with John Paul II's address to the European Parliament in 1988 on the theme of ‘Europe as the beacon of civilization’. As the Pope began his speech, Northern Ireland's only Democratic Unionist MEP and founder of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, the Rev Ian Paisley, stood to protest, heckling loudly (see also Foye 2020). Paisley, a former Orangeman and lifelong member of the loyalist Apprentice Boys of Derry, briefly succeeded in holding up a sign which read ‘POPE JOHN PAUL II ANTICHRIST’. Despite having given advanced warning of his protest, Paisley was quickly silenced by fellow MEPs unable to countenance his anti-Papal stance, several of whom were so enraged by his exposing their demonic allegiance that they resorted to snatching away his signs and violently assaulting him while he was being bundled out by security. Also knowing the EU to be a Catholic-controlled institution, Tony Blair chose to embrace this fact rather than rail against it, converting to Catholicism (his wife's religion) immediately prior to his 2009 bid for the Presidency of the European Commission. While Blair was unsuccessful, the Presidency remained under the control of the Papacy, in the guise of José Manuel Barroso, a Catholic.

 Almost thirty years after Paisley's first warning against the European/Papal Antichrist, the alarm was raised again – this time in the context of the Brexit referendum – in the form of a gable end mural in Tiger's Bay, a Protestant-unionist-loyalist area of Belfast. The mural, capped with the image of a Union Flag, simply read ‘VOTE LEAVE E.U. REV, 18:45’ (see also Foye 2020). As expected, in order to try and maintain its political influence over Britain, the Vatican pushed back, with the Pope delivering speeches on the importance of ‘European unity not division’ in an attempt to persuade Brits to vote ‘Remain’ – remain, that is, in bondage to Rome. Notably, while relative peace had come to Northern Ireland with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, the Catholic Church had long been active supporters of a different kind of division within Europe – between Ulster Protestant unionists and Irish Catholic nationalists. Using the Troubles as a convenient vehicle to attack the former ethno-religious group, the Vatican continued to refuse to excommunicate known IRA gunmen (choosing instead to offer them spiritual absolution for murdering Protestants through the sacrament of confession), and to maintain Catholic ghettoisation by insisting – via Matrimonia Mixta in 1970 – that all children from cross-community marriages be raised Catholic.

 Continuing in its long-term goal of undermining the constitutional and Protestant integrity of Britain, and having successfully destabilised Northern Ireland's place within the UK by making it subject to a possible border poll on reunification with Catholic Éire, the Vatican shifted its malevolent gaze from Ulster to Scotland. By actively supporting the anti-British political programme of the SNP, the Catholic hierarchy again sought to divide and conquer, stating publicly that it believed the Papacy would have greater influence within an independent Scotland than it would if Scotland remained proudly part of Protestant Britain. To this end, during the referendum campaign, Scotland's most senior Catholic – (the now disgraced) Cardinal Keith O'Brien – disseminated the official position of the Holy See by stating that he (O'Brien) would be ‘happy’ if Scotland became independent. This pronouncement, repeated by hundreds of Priests in Sunday Mass homilies across Scotland, resulted in a bloc of nearly a million Scots-Catholics voting as they had been instructed to do – for independence. That Glasgow and North Lanarkshire, with large Catholic populations already controlled by a ‘mafia’ of Catholic politicians (see also Walker 2016: 34 on the folklore of ‘Monklandsgate’), were two of only four Councils to return a ‘Yes’ vote evidenced that many Scot-Catholics were happy to toe the Vatican line. Unsurprisingly, giving overt pro-independence support to the SNP paid off handsomely for the Papacy, with the SNP reciprocating via continued taxpayer funding for segregated Catholic schooling, as well as with positive statements about the importance of the Catholic Church as a Scottish institution in the wake of a sex scandal surrounding Cardinal O'Brien which threatened to discredit the entire Scots-Catholic hierarchy.

 With Queen Elizabeth II approaching 95 years of age, the prospect of a new British monarch is looming, and with it, another opportunity for the Vatican to strike at the heart of the Protestant constitution of the United Kingdom. Having been waiting patiently for decades as next in line to the throne, and having remarried a woman who was herself raised a Catholic, the Prince of Wales seems keen to capitulate to this menace, as evidenced by his stated desire to retitle the British monarch as the (notably plural) ‘Defender of the Faiths’. With such a change in titular wording comes the real prospect of the Act of Settlement being undone – a move which would allow Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, to reconvert to Roman Catholicism and still remain a future Queen of England, while also freeing any future British monarch to marry a Catholic. It is this latter scenario that stands as the Vatican's ultimate aim: a seizing and severing of the Protestant bloodline flowing from the British throne, which, under the strictures of Matrimonia Mixta, would fall under the full control of the Pope – the father of kings, ruler of the world and vicar of Christ – in perpetuity. With the legacy of 500 years of Reformation destroyed, and the victory of the Boyne turned defeat, the Orange Order would have nothing left to be vigilant against, as the United Kingdom (with or without Scotland and Northern Ireland) would simply cease to exist as a Protestant nation, findings itself to be a vassal state of the Vatican, enslaved under the rule of the Triple Crown. Such is the chronic threat of the ‘menace of Rome’.

Urgent Political Crises and Chronic Religious Conflicts

But what does all this have to do with the notion of urgency? In stating above that the co-constitution of Orange politics and religion can be partially distinguished by their differential temporal framings, what this complex web of anti-Catholic Orange conspiracism shows us, I think, are the different qualities and consequences of being a defender, in contrast to the qualities and consequences which come with being an aggressor, imagined or otherwise. Remember, then, how according to the Grand Lodge Hierarchy, ‘the price of freedom is eternal vigilance’. Such vigilance is the unavoidable burden of the defender – of anyone who defends anything, be it person, property or principle, against any aggressor. This is because a defensive act is, by definition, always ongoing, since victory over one aggressor in no way precludes defeat by a second, or a third, or a fourth, ad infinitum. A single instance of vigilance, or a sole act of defence, in this reading, is utterly necessary, but always insufficient. In a different fieldwork context among Scottish evangelicals in Aberdeenshire, an often repeated trope about the need for young courting couples to maintain sexual purity focused on the image of a person standing atop a stool. It would always be easier for someone standing on the floor to pull that person off their stool than it would for the person atop the stool to pull the other person off the floor and up to them. The same applied, my evangelical informants explained to me, with the struggle to remain sexually chaste before marriage; if one partner sought to remain celibate but the other did not, temptation being what it was, with enough time and moral attrition, the result would usually be sin – a premature and irreparable loss of one's virginity out of wedlock.

The similarities here with Orange interpretations of the Scottish independence referendum are marked. Orangemen would frequently remind me, for example, how the task of Scottish unionists fighting for a ‘No’ vote could not be more different from the task of Scottish nationalists campaigning for independence. ‘The SNP only have to win once, by one vote’ several informants explained, reminding me how, in their view, any such result would be ‘Armageddon’ for the Order and for British Protestantism. Reflecting on what a ‘Yes’ vote would mean for the Order, the then Grand Lodge Executive Officer Scot Symon predicted such a result would trigger new waves of anti-Orange sentiment backed by newly oppressive Scots law, including a ban of loyalist marches, as well as on flying the Union Flag and displaying portraits of the Queen.

The urgency of the need to elect unionist politicians who would oppose Scottish independence put some Orangemen in the strange position of needing to vote for Catholic Labour candidates over Protestant SNP candidates (Webster 2020). Such situations were felt to be awkward, but offered no significant dilemma, since the vast majority of my Orange informants saw their duty to face down the UK-wide threat to the union as outweighing any ethno-religious concerns they might have with electing individual Catholic unionist MSPs to their local constituency. On occasions when a genuine electoral dilemma did present itself – as when some Orangemen were faced with deciding between voting for the established (and establishment) unionism of the Scottish Conservative Party or the narrow and thus more risky (but explicitly Orange-led) loyalism of the Scottish Unionist Party – polling data have repeatedly shown, with the failure of the SUP experiment, just how risk-averse Orangemen are when tasked with defending the union. Equally, when faced with the dilemma of whether or not to become publicly involved in ‘Better Together’ (the cross-party unionist campaign against Scottish independence), my Orange informants, having eventually accepted the bitter reality that Scottish Orangeism was widely perceived to be a toxic brand, decided to give up on all attempts to garner acceptance within ‘big tent’ Scottish unionism. By relinquishing access to the political mainstream, the Orange Institution chose to sacrifice any status gains they had hoped to make by partnering with ‘Better Together’ in order to avoid the risk of handing the SNP the damaging opportunity to label all unionism as sectarian-by-association. The Order's alternative campaign – pointedly called ‘British Together’ – made a fraction of the impact it could otherwise have achieved by focusing all its efforts on getting the vote out in loyalist communities. Here again, the Order resolved this purported dilemma by returning to first principals, showing itself to be deeply risk-averse in its mission to maintain the union.

In contrast to the potentiality of the ‘once and for all’ SNP independence victory, the defensive task of British Protestants was said to be never complete because unionist victory in one Scottish independence referendum in no way guaranteed subsequent victory in another – a fact amply demonstrated, I was told, by the SNP's calls for a second referendum in the wake of the Brexit result. ‘They [the SNP] will just keep trying and trying until they win’, another informant told me, with a grim expression on his face – a view shared by many staunch pro-Brexit supporters, who likewise feared that the vote to Leave may be usurped by pro-EU demands for a ‘second referendum’ or ‘people's vote’ on the final Brexit deal. In essence, the point here is simple, namely that a defensive victory is always temporary, needing to be repeated with the arrival of each new wave of attack. In contrast, the aggressor need only win once to secure their victory – in this context, by breaking the spiritual and constitutional purity of the British body politic in an act of compromise akin to sexual conquest.

Urgency as By-product

If Britain's Protestant-unionist defenders must be eternally vigilant, while her Catholic-nationalist aggressors need but one victory, such a scenario places the notion of urgency in a different light. Political urgency, in this context, may be the product of an acute constitutional threat, but it is also (perhaps more fundamentally) a mere by-product of chronic religious conflict, and the enmity it is founded on. Indeed, for Orangemen, without the long shadow of the ‘menace of Rome’, there would be no threat, and thus no urgency. There would have been no (acute political) need for the Battle of the Boyne to have been fought had the Popes of the late seventeenth century not insisted on implementing their (chronic religious) scheme to rule not just the Vatican, but Britain too, via their ‘puppet’ James II. In the same way, Scots-Orangemen would not have had to face the urgent threat of a Scottish referendum, had the SNP and their Vatican ‘overlords’ not worked together to orchestrate the constitutional crisis of independence in the first place.

Urgency, then, at least as it appears within Orange cosmology (which, for the avoidance of doubt, stands as the necessary empirical limit of this paper), may well be usefully understood as offering the anthropologist a variegated political symptomology but not an underlying religious diagnostic. Importantly, such epidemiological metaphors may be seen to have a deliberately emic quality, resonating, as they do, with Orange conceptualisations of ‘Romanism’ as a malignant threat which spreads aggressively through the British body politic, just as a cancer spreads through the human body. On this point, a key Orange informant of mine was clear, offering a pointed critique of what he saw as the Institution's misplaced prioritisation of its loyalist parading culture above more direct forms of political engagement. ‘While we have been walking the streets, our enemies have been walking the corridors of power – so who's the daft ones?’ he said, with a resigned expression. Here, the malignant spread of the enemies of Orangeism are said to travel through a variety of corridors – not just those within parliament, but within the highest levels of the nation's educational, financial and media institutions, coursing, like a blood-borne disease, through the veins of Scottish society.

Moreover, that the Orangeman quoted above deliberately conflated politics (specifically describing how ‘our enemies’ run Glasgow City Council) with religion (‘our enemies’ are such because they are ultramontane Catholics) offers further evidence about the direction of causality here. The point, simply stated, is this: within what I have called ‘the religion of Orange politics’ (Webster 2020), the urgency of a constitutional crisis may be an important matter which needs to be dealt with, but the matter itself offers no real explanation for what is ‘really going on’. Indeed, for Scots-Orangemen, the real explanation for the crisis of Scottish independence (as a nationalist policy and a republican aspiration) does not rest in constitutional affairs, and this despite the fact that the ‘Indyref’ debate, as well as plans for ‘Indyref2’ were said to be directed from ‘the corridors of power’ within Glasgow City Council and Holyrood.

How can we explain the supra-political origins of this ostensibly laic political crisis? One way of doing so is to compare the outlook of my Orange informants to that which Rapport reports to have found among his informants within a major Scottish hospital. In contrast to the hospital medical personnel, technicians and administrators of Constance Hospital in east-central Scotland (Rapport 2012), then, for Orangemen across the whole of Scotland's central belt, national identity is not exclusively (or even primarily) ‘a political project’, nor is it definable as ‘an attempt to construct a certain kind of homogeneous social-political reality’ (2012: 72). Indeed, where Rapport argues that, in the context of the NHS in Scotland, ‘nationality is a kind of identity whose size militates against an authentic mapping of the lives it purports to treat’ (2012: 72), for Scots-Orangemen living their lives as Orangemen, this same ‘bigness’ of national identity is nonetheless dwarfed by the sheer size of religious identity. Moreover, it was precisely the enormity of my informants’ religious identification which demanded that Orangemen offered (both to themselves and to the wider world) an authentic mapping of their lives as Protestants, who, being God's ‘Chosen Few’, found themselves destined to stand against an evil religious conspiracy masquerading as a morally neutral disagreement over two forms of secular-civic nationalism. In short, while the constitutional question being asked of Scottish voters at polling stations took the form of a binary YES/NO ballot, according to many of my Orange informants, the real choice was not between independence or unionism, but a hidden choice between bondage to despotic ultramontane Catholicism or freedom within the divine monarchical mandate of British Protestantism.

Clearly, however, the real nature of this hidden religious choice – as one cloaked in the guise of civic nationalism – still retained a political element, despite not having political origins. Indeed, according to one of my key informants, the most accurate way to refer to the Roman Catholic Church was as a ‘pseudo political organisation’. The Orange logic of such a designation seems clear, since the Papacy was said to employ whatever means necessary to achieve its ultramontane ambitions, including directly political means such as armed conflict or election tampering. As such, the Orange desire to be free from Papal supremacy was, in part, a political desire, but it was a desire that simultaneously denied that political processes stood as the author of the constitutional proposals at play. In this sense, my Orange informants were not so much offering an ‘enchantment’ (see Webster 2013) of secular politics, but rather a denial that politics was political in any straightforward sense. Indeed, for the Orangeman quoted above, the Roman Catholic Church was a ‘pseudo political organisation’ exactly because of its pseudo political nature. That this same informant also frequently stated that Roman Catholicism was ‘a cult masquerading as a church’ bears this latter emphasis out. Indeed, for Scots-Orangemen, just as Protestant exceptionalism reveals the religious primacy of ‘the religion of Orange politics’ (Webster 2020), so too does the menace of Rome reveal the religious primacy of the ultramontane conspiracy to bring about Scottish independence.

Before I conclude by discussing the temporality of this hidden religious conspiracy, as well as what this has to say about the notion of urgency, it seems important to note that Orangemen are not the only ones who suggest that there is ‘something more going on’ within Scottish politics than might at first appear. Manley, who has conducted extensive ethnographic research among SNP activists, is particularly instructive in this regard, noting, as she does, how, during the course of her fieldwork, ‘conspiracy theories have been impossible to avoid, ranging from common distrust of the mainstream media to more outlandish theories of actors and infiltrators nefariously tasked with the dismantling of the independence movement’ (2019: np). From stories about British unionist spies infiltrating ‘Yes’ rallies ‘tasked with inciting violence in order to undermine the movement's pacifist agenda’ (2019: np), to claims about BBC impartiality being exposed as a sham by ‘irrefutable proof’ of the Corporation's use of ‘actor[s] paid to slander the SNP’ during live TV debates, to overt denials that the moon landing ever happened (2019: np) – conspiracist claims about nefarious plots to further ‘the [British] establishment's agenda’ (2019: np) are reported to be commonplace among Manley's SNP informants. The logic of these pro-independence activists is clear, namely that ‘the [British] state will go to any length to retain power’ (2019: np) – a claim that mirrors (and thus inverts) the Orange belief that the Papacy will do anything to achieve its goal of destroying Britain as a Protestant constitutional monarchy. Manley concludes that, for her informants, what remains is ‘the uncanny feeling that there must be something more to be uncovered’ (2019: np). In the words of one SNP activist, ‘one must always follow independent evidence . . . [as] the state cannot be trusted’ (cited in Manley 2019: np) – a sentiment recorded by other ethnographers of neo-nationalisms across Britain, Europe and beyond (Gusterson 2017; Kalb and Halmai 2011; Koch 2017; Pilkington 2016).

Importantly, while the mirroring of common conspiracist logics found among SNP activists and Orangemen is not perfectly symmetrical, the differences are of degree, not of kind. In practice, while the content of their claims about occluded agency and hidden agendas were strikingly similar, in contrast to the SNP activists Manley researched among, my own Orange informants lacked the ‘hesitant’ tone that would typically accompany the making of a ‘slightly guilty admission’ (Manley 2019: np) that, for example, one believed the moon landings were a hoax, BBC impartiality was a carefully orchestrated and politically motivated lie, or the Pope was a sworn and bitter enemy of Queen Elizabeth II. Indeed, in lacking any hesitancy and guilt in expressing their mission to profess ‘hostility to the distinctive despotism of the Church of Rome’, Orangemen do not just enact their initiation vows, but do so in a way that moves beyond mere rhetoric, profoundly shaping and being shaped by an anti-Catholic experience of time.

It was this altered experience of time, I suggest, which rendered as ‘uniquely realistic’ (Geertz 1993 [1973]) certain Orange claims about what was ‘really going on’ within the campaign for Scottish independence. Moreover, it was the felt realism of these conspiracist claims, I argue, which rendered political urgency as little more than a by-product of sectarian religious conflict – a by-product, however, that, having being correctly identified as such by Orangemen who were ‘in on the secret’ (Simmel 1950) about the Papal plot of Indyref, also stood as a (tautological) mark of their own clear-sightedness, as well as a powerful shibboleth for the identification of other ‘loyal Protestant friends’. In order to better explain what I mean by this, I will offer some additional ethnography below, presented as parenthetical commentary alongside my final analysis of the temporality of Orange vigilance against ‘the menace of Rome’.

Conclusions: What is Really Going On

For Orangemen facing down the Scottish independence referendum, ‘what is really going on’ is not simply an urgent constitutional crisis but a chronic religious conspiracy – ‘the menace of Rome’. This religious conspiracy, furthermore, has a primordial character to it – Rome ‘has not changed! She cannot change!’ – a view echoed by Grand Lodge archivist and Orange author David Bryce (2018), in his recent booklet, aptly titled The Irredeemable Papacy. What these Orange claims about the unchangeability and irredeemability of Catholicism tell us, I think, is that conspiracist beliefs about ‘the menace of Rome’ give Orangemen a coalesced experience of time, fusing together the past, present and future via attributions of a common menace, and thus a common agency, namely the Papacy. Consider the following.

In the Grand Lodge archive, Orangemen do not just valorise the Protestant past, but lament the Catholic past, deploying various artefacts as occasions to ‘remember’ Rome's violent opposition to the Bible becoming an ‘open’ book through its translation into the common tongue of the people (Webster 2015). I observed many instances of this kind of backwards-looking glance, some of which adopted a historically more recent focal point, for example, through archivists’ narrating tales of institutionalised Catholic nepotism and anti-Protestant discrimination said to be endemic across Labour (and now SNP) Councils across west-central Scotland (see also Walker 2016). So too in the ‘Orange Kirk’ where stained glass depictions of Protestant martyrs were mirrored by strikingly similar memorial images in the Orange Social Club of Scottish soldiers killed by the IRA while serving in the British Army. For Orangemen, while remembering the malevolent ‘track record’ of the Papacy (as above, in the violence of the Counter-Reformation and ‘the Troubles’) is a necessary act to ensure proper vigilance against the menace of Rome, remembrance alone is insufficient, for prophecy too has a role.

Indeed, as well as looking backwards through time, these (notably ‘Western’) Orangemen simultaneously peer forwards into the future, making sense of what is yet to come, but always with reference to what has already been (on the nonlinear temporality of historicity, cf. Stewart 2016; see also Sahlins 2004). The track record of the Papacy being what it is, the future becomes knowable from this Orange vantage point because such a history is darkly teleological, portending its own eschatological culmination in a soon-to-arrive showdown between God's British Protestant ‘Chosen Few’, and those who always have (and always will) oppose them, be they Irish Republicans, Scottish Nationalists or something else. ‘Rome cannot change!’ my Orange informants would insist to me with an exasperation provoked by my dull-witted suggestions that Vatican II really did represent a genuine transformation in how the Papacy understood itself and its mission. Describing a scenario akin to an inversion of the tale of the boy who cried wolf, Orangemen patiently responded to me by describing again their own efforts to raise the alarm about the reality of Papal encroachment across Britain, as evidenced, for example, by the Vatican's long-standing desire to alter the Act of Settlement. That the wolf they cried against was commonly misrecognised as a sheep by non-Orangemen did not change the fact that he was a wolf, nor, more fundamentally, did it alter the fact of his presence in Scotland was real, as evidenced, for example, by the willingness of the Church of Scotland to allow Pope John Paul II to address its General Assembly during his hugely popular 1982 tour of the nation's capital.

From an Orange perspective, that the Order's small static protest against that Papal visit was almost entirely eclipsed by the presence of hundreds of thousands of adoring well-wishers not only reinforced the clear and present danger that their ancient enemy posed, but did so in a way that highlighted further dangers yet to come. Beyond the immediacy of the Kirk's anti-Protestant ecumenical compromise, then, stood the prospect of the rapid erosion of Scotland's wider Protestant loyalist culture by a wave of pro-Papal sentiment, and thereby the real prospect of the breakup of the United Kingdom as a Protestant constitutional monarchy achieved by Scots voters held under the spell of the triple crown. One observation to be drawn from this temporally coalesced Orange experience of the menace of Rome is a view of political crisis which shows it to be not only the by-product of religious conspiracy, but, contra Bryant (2016), does not emerge from an inability to anticipate the future. Indeed, for Orangemen, the opposite seems to be true, namely that crisis emerges precisely because the future can (and therefore must) be predicted, and with the same sense of emergency that a meteorologist might announce the coming of a devastating hurricane. Indeed, just as data on past weather events are used to model and predict future storms, so too do Orange remembrances of past Papal incursions act as predictive models for future ultramontane attacks, with both ‘the Killing Time’ of the Scottish Covenanters in the seventeenth century and ‘the Troubles’ of Northern Ireland in the twentieth century acting to transform Orange campaigners against Scottish independence into latter-day covenanters and latter-day loyalists (Webster 2020). Crucially, the passing of any particular moment of crisis does not signal that the threat has ended, since the systems at play (be they meteorological or Papal) remain, and thereby retain their capacity to produce new crises and thus new urgencies. In short, for my Orange informants, the Scottish independence debate rendered the present as a time of political crisis exactly because the future could be predicted – a prediction made possible, in turn, because the past was repeating itself, albeit in conflictual and thus ‘unstable’ and ‘unruly’ ways (Bandak and Coleman 2019: 121).

If Orange identifications of the conspiratorial menace of Rome are temporally omnivorous, that is, if they conflate experiences of the past, present and future by laying claim to all of time, then this might force us to rethink other recent anthropological reflections on the temporal shape of the future. The Anthropology of the Future (Bryant and Knight 2019), for example, sets out several different strands of future-oriented experience – including anticipation, expectation, speculation, potentiality, hope and destiny – which the Orange Order seem to stubbornly conflate. Orange anticipation, for example, is not so much ‘a collective way of addressing the anxiety of uncertainty’ (2019: 48), for the menace of Rome is all too certain, rendering it as an eminently anticipated crisis. Nor is it a crisis that develops in a context where ‘there are no resources to think about the future’ (2019: 48), for it is the foundational importance of Orange memory – in the archive, on parade and in fraternal story telling – which gives the future crisis of a possible second independence referendum its hallmark Papal outline. Here, too, expectation and speculation coagulate with anticipation, since, post-devolution, the longue durée of Orange expectations about an independence referendum were wrenched from their position as ‘always just on the horizon’ (2019: 77) and placed centre-stage in Scottish political discourse. Equally, with the confirmation of Brexit (itself an amalgam of Orange anticipation, potentiality, hope and destiny), speculation about SNP demands for Indyref2 have begun to bleed into expectation, allowing it to take on the quality of an eminently anticipated (repeat) crisis, while still existing within the realms of ‘conjecture, fantasy, and imagination’ (2019: 103). So too with hope and destiny, which again come to be conflated in Orange experience, with the former taking on the qualities of the latter under a theological commitment to British Protestant chosenness. Here, the hope of British Protestant salvation as part of God's ‘Chosen Few’ is rendered as a kind of assurance – a kind of destiny which ‘turns fate into progress, into the inevitable’, allowing an Orange Grand Chaplain, speaking at a ‘No’ rally on the eve of the referendum, to describe hope as an assured constitutional victory, and as a kind of divine ethno-national destiny:

Speaking of this crisis, God had this to say in Second Chronicles: ‘The battle is not yours but mine’ sayeth the Lord. ‘Just take up your position and see the victory I will give you’. And in obedience to God's Word today, we are taking up our position! So we as proud Scots, who are passionately British, come today out of our devotion for our nation, that we rightly call Great Britain – a land of hope and God's glory! (Webster 2020: 141)

While my observations above are not intended to call into question the entirety of Bryant and Knight's thesis (which, in fact, is delimited by these authors with real care, so as not to deny the possibility of other experiences of the temporal framings they mention), they do suggest, I think, that a rather different experience of futurity is occurring among the Orange Order – one that is more marked by amalgamation and coagulation than differentiation and separation. Equally, the Orange Order seem to conflate Coleman's (2011) double typology of the ‘invoking’ and ‘making’ of history which he calls ‘historiopraxy’. Thus, for the Orange Order ‘historiopraxy’ is not a ‘double-edged process’ (2011: 434), or even a double process, because, post-reformation, the Orange Order claim there is no longer any further significant history to make. Indeed, all that is left to do is defend (in the present) the history which the Reformation already made (in the past). We might also note, crucially, that this Orange history is defended precisely by invoking it, most obviously through the noise and pageantry of the Orange parade.

Thus, while this conspiracist experience of time is both backwards looking and forwards looking, it is also simultaneously connected to the present, enmeshed in the here-and-now of an Orange fight back against Scottish independence as merely the latest iteration (or by-product) of a wider programme of Papal aggression against the United Kingdom's British-Israel origins, Reformation heritage and elect heavenly destiny. Here, urgency is not only a reaction to temporality but also the creation of an epistemology, since Orangemen (very literally) urge each other to see and therefore to know their world in the right way. This urging each other towards ‘right meaning’ is predicated on a long-established Protestant-Orange hermeneutic which is itself constitutionally prescient and thus (in the contemporary context, at least) politically urgent.

In this sense, the awkwardness of the urgency of the Scottish Orange Order's brand of British unionism (which is anti-independence and pro-Brexit) can be seen in its urging of members to deliver religious answers to what most Scots believe to be avowedly political questions regarding Scotland's place within the UK and Europe. To do otherwise would be to betray the imperative of eternal vigilance against the menace of Rome – a betrayal which would also injure all those who shared in this same ‘right meaning’, namely a proper orientation to knowledge concerning what was ‘really going on’. To make matters more awkward still, the very urgency of the Order's answer, that only repeated ‘No’ and ‘Leave’ votes can safeguard Britain's soul under a fully autonomous Protestant monarch and Protestant constitution, appears to be contributing to the spread of the chronic religious malignancy it seeks to cure – namely ultramontane Catholicism – with all its nationalist and Europhile by-product intact. Thus, where ‘the price of freedom is eternal vigilance’, the cost for Scots-Orangemen might be a partially self-imposed defeat to a foreign religious enemy whose role as aggressor had (always) already given them the upper hand.

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the Newton Trust and Downing College, Cambridge, for funding and hosting my Isaac Newton – Graham Robertson Research Fellowship. Without these resources, the ethnographic data that this article is built upon would never have been collected. I would also like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments. Any mistakes remain my own.

Notes

1

Beyond Scotland and Northern Ireland (where is has an estimated membership of 34,000), the Orange also has a presence in England, Canada, America, New Zealand, Australia, as well as in Ghana.

2

In essence, the Orange Order seeks to maintain the status quo of the United Kingdom as a four-fold family of nations (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), believing this constitutional and monarchical arrangement to be the best mechanism to ensure Britain remains officially Protestant. Emerging from these Orange political and religious commitments is the belief that Scottish nationalist sentiment in general, and Scottish independence in particular (which would formally separate Scotland from the Union), would eventually trigger the breakup of the UK, ending Britain's status as a Protestant constitutional monarchy and thereby leaving it open to greater Papal influence.

3

The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican brough sweeping changes to Roman Catholic doctrine and practice, not just to its approach to ecumenism, but also – particularly relevant in this context – to how the Church sought to relate to the ‘modern word’.

4

In this sense, my Orange informants would entirely agree with Barkun that ‘conspiracy theories are not the same as conspiracies’ since ‘conspiracies are actual covert plots’ whereas conspiracy theories are ‘templates imposed upon the world’ (2016: 1) – they would merely assert that they are in the business of exposing the latter, not constructing the former.

5

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

References

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Contributor Notes

JOSEPH WEBSTER (jw557@cam.ac.uk) is Assistant Professor in the Study of Religion within the Cambridge Divinity Faculty and Fellow in Anthropology at Downing College. His research focuses on Protestant fundamentalism and millenarianism in Scotland and Northern Ireland, including ethnographic studies of the Exclusive Brethren (The Anthropology of Protestantism, 2013) and the Orange Order (The Religion of Orange Politics, 2020). Dr Webster won a Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2020 to conduct new ethnographic research on the moral, hermeneutical and eschatological commitments of Jehovah's Witnesses in post-Brexit Northern Ireland. He also advises the Scottish Government on policy issues related to sectarianism and hate crime. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3840-5033.

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  • Bandak, A. and S. Coleman 2019. ‘Different repetitions: anthropological engagements with figures of return, recurrence and redundancy’, History and Anthropology 30: 119132.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Barkun, M. 2016. ‘Conspiracy theories as stigmatized knowledge’, Diogenes 62: 114120.

  • Blom Hansen, T. 2000. ‘Predicaments of secularism: Muslim identities and politics in Mumbai’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 6: 255272.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bryant, R. 2016. ‘On critical times: return, repetition, and the uncanny present’, History and Anthropology 27: 1931.

  • Bryant, R. and D. Knight 2019. The anthropology of the future. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Bryce, D. 2018. The irredeemable papacy. Privately Published.

  • Coleman, S. 2011. ‘Right now!’ Historiopraxy and the embodiment of charismatic temporalities’, Ethnos 76: 426447.

  • Foye, H. 2020. ‘Pentecostal preaching and prophetic politics: when the ‘End’ really does justify the means’, Anthropology & Medicine 28: 6277.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Geertz, C. 1993 [1973]. Religion as a cultural system, in The interpretation of cultures, 87125. London: Fontana Press.

  • Gusterson, H. 2017. ‘From Brexit to Trump: anthropology and the rise of nationalist populism’, American Ethnologist 44: 209214.

  • Kalb, D. and G. Halmai 2011. Headlines of nation, subtexts of class: working class populism and the return of the repressed in neoliberal Europe. New York: Berghahn.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Koch, I. 2017. ‘What's in a vote? Brexit beyond culture wars’, American Ethnologist 44: 225230.

  • Manley, G. 2019. ‘A Scottish kind of conspiracy’, Anthropology News 12 July (http://www.anthropology-news.org/index.php/2019/07/12/a-scottish-kind-of-conspiracy/) Accessed 7 December 2020.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pilkington, H. 2016. Loud and proud: passion and politics in the English Defence League. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

  • Rapport, N. 2012. ‘“Tensile nationality”: national identity as an everyday way of being in a Scottish hospital’, Anthropology in Action 19: 6073.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rosie, M. 2004. The sectarian myth in Scotland: of bitter memory and bigotry. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Rosie, M. 2014. ‘Tall tales: understanding religion and Scottish Independence’, in Scottish Affairs 23: 332341.

  • Sahlins, M. 2004. Apologies to Thucydides: understanding history as culture and vice versa. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

  • Simmel, G. 1950. The secret and the secret society, in K. Wolff (ed.), The Sociology of Georg Simmel. New York: The Free Press.

  • Stewart, C. 2016. ‘Historicity and anthropology’, Annual Review of Anthropology 45: 7994.

  • Vigh, H. 2008. ‘Crisis and chronicity: anthropological perspectives on continuous conflict and decline’, Ethnos 73: 524.

  • Walker, G. 2016. The Labour Party in Scotland: religion, the Union, and the Irish dimension. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Webster, J. 2013. The Anthropology of Protestantism: Faith and Crisis among Scottish Fishermen. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Webster, J. 2015. ‘Objects of Transcendence: Scots-Protestantism and an Anthropology of Things’ in Material Religion in Modern Britain by Jones, T. and Matthews-Jones, L. (eds.) New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Webster, J. 2020. The Religion of Orange Politics: Protestantism and fraternity in contemporary Scotland. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

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