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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Understanding Celtic Religion

Revisiting the Pagan Past

Although it has long been acknowledged that early Irish literature contains both pre-Christian and Christian elements, there’s been no sustained study of the challenges involved in understanding the interrelation of these worldviews. Understanding Celtic Religion draws attention to the importance of reconsidering the relationship between religion and mythology, as well as the concept of “Celtic religion” itself. When scholars are attempting to construct the Celtic belief system, what counts as religion, and how does that differ from mythology? This volume, the first interdisciplinary collection of articles to critically re-evaluate the methodological challenges of the study of Celtic religion, will appeal to both scholars and lay readers of Celtic literature, as well as anyone interested in ancient and medieval cultures.

240 pages | 3 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2016

New Approaches to Celtic Religion and Mythology

Religion: Comparative Studies and History of Religion

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"A fine selection of scholarly articles of great interest to Celticists and history of religion experts alike."

Anders Ahlqvist, University of Sydney

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
List of Contributors

Foreword by Jonathan Wooding

1. Introductions: ‘Celtic Religion’: Is this a Valid Concept?
Alexandra Berigholm and Katja Ritari 

2. Celtic Spells and Counterspells
Jacqueline Borsje

3. The Old Gods of Ireland in the Later Middle Ages
John Carey

4. Staging the Otherworld in Medieval Irish Tradition
Joseph Falaky Nagy

5. The Biblical Dimension of Early Medieval Latin Texts
Thomas O’Loughlin

6. Ancient Irish Law Revisited: Rereading the Laws of Status and Franchise 
Robin Chapman Stacey

7. A Dirty Window on the Iron Age? Recent Developments in the Archaeology of Pre-Roman Celtic Religion
Jane Webster


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