Celts and Christians

New Approaches to the Religious Traditions of Britain and Ireland

Edited by Mark Atherton

Celts and Christians

Edited by Mark Atherton

Distributed for University of Wales Press

211 pages | 8 2/5 x 5 2/5 | © 2002
Paper $39.95 ISBN: 9780708316634 Published April 2002 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only

What is Celtic Christianity? How and to what extent is it Celtic? The essays in this volume – which were originally given as lectures at the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture – aim to take a fresh look at the saints, scholars, nature poets and religious thinkers who shaped the early forms of Christianity in Britain and Ireland.

Beginning with discussions of the problematic term ‘Celtic’, its origins and usefulness, the essays in the first part of the volume discuss issues of ethnicity, location and national identities. The second part considers texts of the tradition from a theological point of view and also examines the role of the literary text in the mediation and dissemination of a Celtic religious sensibility.

Celts and Christians provides new approaches to the texts of the Celtic world which do justice to their uniqueness as well as placing them in their theological and historical contexts. It will appeal to all those interested in Celtic Christianity, Celtic Studies and early medieval literature and history.

List of Contributors
PART I     Identities
1. Celtic Christianity: texts and representations
2. The idea of the Celt
3. The ’pagan’ and ’Christian’ identities of the Irish female saint
4. Saxon or Celt? Cædmon, ’The Seafarer’ and the Irish tradition
PART II     Theologies
5. ’There is no resurrection where there is no earth’:
     creation and resurrection as seen in early Welsh poetry
          A.M. ALLCHIN
6. Muirchu’s theology of conversion in his Vita Patricii
7. Incarnate glory: the spirituality of D. Gwenallt Jones
          D. DENSIL MORGAN
8. The natural world in early Irish Christianity: an ecological footnote
          MARY LOW
Review Quotes
Anglican Theological Review

“This attractive volume of essays is perhaps the best introduction now available to what might be described as the new ‘‘middle way’’ that has emerged in the study of Celtic Christianity… this volume can be recommended to readers who… will discover that the beauties of this complex set of traditions are enhanced, not diminished, by careful attention to texts in their historical and literary particularity.” –Anglican Theological Review

Regent's Reviews

“This is a thought-provoking book which deserves to be well-known and studied. The basically academic approach to the texts is balanced by profound convictions about spirituality today, this providing a timely balance, preventing ‘celtic’ from becoming a laughable fantasy, while affirming the sources as life giving for all . . .” –Regent’s Reviews

Reviews in Religion and Theology

“Celts and Christians is an appealing and rewarding collection, a welcome demonstration that ‘Celtic Christianity’ can be explored in ways which are not only balanced and cautious, but also imaginative, sensitive and penetrating.” –Reviews in Religion and Theology

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