Early Celtic Christianity was a different kind of Christianity--earth-centered, mystical, poetic, humorous, individualistic--and the texts it produced are perfectly attuned to our age. These ancient texts, freshly translated, have been collected in a beautifully designed volume with elegant two-color Celtic ornamentation and an affordable price that make it the ideal gift book.
This modest anthology offers excerpts from saints' lives, histories, legends, prayers, morality plays, proverbs, and poetry. The texts, conflated from the various available sources, have been recast into modern English by the editor, who also adds a plan for a "modern Celtic pilgrimage." His introduction commends Celtic Christianity as a "spirituality for our time," since it "embraced the natural order," gave women equal status, and was suspicious of hierarchical rigidity (i.e., Roman-stratified Christianity). Van de Weyer traces these Celtic virtues to three influences: Druidic religion, which "placed great emphasis on love" (no mention of such practices as human sacrifices); the "great British heretic" Pelagius's moral self-reliance and social awareness; and the stubborn individualism of the desert fathers. While such enthusiasms seem to owe as much to Rousseau and the spirit of the 1970s as to Celtic Christianity, the freshness and variety of the texts collected here make this a pleasant addition to inspirational collections. --Anneliese Schwarzer, formerly with "Library Journal"
Contributor Bio: Van De Weyer, Robert
Van de Weyer has written or edited more than forty books on religion, history, politics, and philosophy. For twenty years, he lectured in political economy at Cambridge and Anglia Universities. Ordained in the Church of England in 1981, Van de Weyer now ministers to an independent church that explores and celebrates the validity of all great world religions. He writes full-time and frequently appears on radio and television.
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