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Celtic Christian Spirituality: Essential Writings--Annotated and Explained (SkyLight Illuminations) Paperback – Jun 2011


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Amazon.com: 7 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Great for teaching 27 Jun. 2011
By Anne E. Province - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Whether you know a lot or a little about the tradition of Celtic spirituality, this book will be an aid to teaching. Mary Earle organizes the subject around major themes--Pilgrimage, Creation, Incarnation, Prayer, Blessing, for example--and provides essential writings that illustrate the Celtic approach to each subject. Her introduction to the book is very respectful to the tradition, with explanations to the reader about sources and their contexts. She cautions her readers not to assume that the Celtic tradition is uniform across Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, the Isle of Man and Galicia, and she explains the entymology of the term "Celtic". The essential writings that illustrate each theme are delightful, and clearly reflect a deep familiarity and love of the subject. They include traditional poems, blessings and prose from St. Patrick, Pelagius, John Scotus Eriugena, The Carmina Gadelica and others, as well as modern poetry in the spirit of the tradition from John Philip Newell and John O'Donohue.

This small book is accessible, respectful, well-researched. Highly recommended if you are preparing a short introduction to Celtic Christian Spirituality for others, or exploring the tradition on your own.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
a treasure 21 Jun. 2011
By Deborah Smith Douglas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you only have shelf space for one (or one more) book on Celtic spirituality, choose this one.

Priest and poet Mary Earle wears a lifetime's learning on this subject lightly, but her deep knowledge of and love for the tradition shine through in this volume.

She has cast her net wide and wittily in gathering these essential writings: included here are familiar songs and prayers from the classic Carmina Gadelica and pithy passages from Pelagius--but there are also delightful surprises, from lesser-known traditional blessings (I especially liked the "herding blessing" on the flock and its "nibbling and munching" surrounded by unseen angels and saints), to 20th century Welsh poems. (My favorite modern selection is an ode to a refrigerator full of food, seeing in it evidence of the bounty of creation, the generosity of the Creator, and the gift of preserving the harvest of sea and pasture, orchard and farm: I may never open my own refrigerator thoughtlessly again.)

The brief introduction--worth the price of the book in itself--is a gem of its kind: a nimble synthesis of the subject, and a charming invitation to its treasures. The format of the book is also excellent: each selection has Mary Earle's commentary (so thoughtful that it can profitably be read alone) on the facing page for ease of reference.

This book will be gratefully received by scholars as well as seekers. It can be savored slowly and meditatively from beginning to end, or dipped into occasionally for refreshment of the spirit. It would be a superb text for any class on the subject.

I predict it will be frequently consulted as the definitive anthology it is--as well as savored by ordinary readers as a well-balanced distillation of the rich Celtic Christian tradition. It will be particularly cherished as an aid to prayer--opening as it does a door into this ancient way of seeing and reverencing the world.

Highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
celtic Christianity research 11 Jun. 2013
By Nicki McIntyre - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
St. Columba landed on the peninsula of Kintyre before moving on to the isle of Iona where he founded an abbey and from there Celtic Christianity was born. As a McIntyre, I find that delightful. But more importantly, I am appreciating the research others have done to provide needed historical and theological information.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Enlightening, Inviting, Inspiring 6 Feb. 2013
By By Michael Landon, Author of Grieving Hearts in Worship: A Ministry Resource, AuthorHouse, May 2012 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Once again, Mary C Earle has a delightful way of reaching the heart of the matter. She beautifully weaves various Celtic writings with an invitation for the reader to go deeper and expand their understanding of who God is and who we are in relationship with God. Celtic Christian Spirituality, is enlightening as it joins the likes of John Philip Newell and John O'Donohue in sharing the wisdom of the Celtic traditions and understandings of our intimate relationship with all of creation, with one another, and with God. The reader can hardly help but be inspired by this book.
A Good Introduction 23 Sept. 2014
By Ronald Sims - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The many books now available on Celtic Christianity cast a shadow upon this short book, which is about half annotation and about half original source material. It would be useful for readers who want a brief commentary and very brief passages, or for those looking for an introduction. One element that, to me, seems missing is a sense of the strangeness and otherness of the writings, which seem to be chosen in part for their accessibility. How unlike the passages in this book read in comparison to a poem by Yeats, for example.

To give due credit, one strength of this book is the clarity, precision, and restraint of the commentary. There is no sentimentality. The author is quite serious and reverent toward the texts.

One might prefer Ester DeWaal's collection of Celtic prayers for devotional use.

This next point is more about the way this book is being listed mainly under Newell's name, rather than the author's (notice the listing above). Newell does provide a forward. One wonders if perhaps this is done to lever Newell's fame as a promotional tool.
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