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Celtic Spirituality (CWS): Classics of Western Spirituality (Classics of Western Spirituality (Paperback)) Paperback – 1 Jan 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Press (1 Jan. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809138948
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809138944
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 3.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 565,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Oliver Davies, who earned a D. Phil. In German from Oxford University, is Professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at St. David's College, the University of Wales. He is the author of God Within: The Mystical Tradition of Northern Europe.


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Format: Paperback
Partly there is a problem dealing with Celtic spirituality, or indeed, Celtic anything. It is comparatively recently in history that the coalescence of Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Briton, Manx, and other 'Celtic fringe' cultural groups have been classified as a unified Celtic society. Certainly the early people in these regions (not to mention those on the continent) would have seen differences as outweighing the similarities, and would have found unity only in being non-Roman and non-Germanic.
Certainly there is a sharing of story, world view, and spiritual sense, however, that helps us make sense of describing Celtic Spirituality as a category. This relates both to the earlier non-Christian Celtic religions (yes, there was more than one) and the ways in which Christianity spread to the Celtic regions.
`While recognising the importance of Celtic primal religion at the earliest and most formative stage of evangelisation of the Celtic-speaking cultures, it must be recognised that the surviving evidence for Celtic religion in sparse, and often comes from widely differing places and times. But something of its general character does emerge.'
Included in this character are a sense of place (which often includes woodlands, water, glades, springs, mountains, etc.). Ideas of treasure, particularly hidden treasure, and that being a treasure that is not always what the world would value, abound. Heroism and bravery, often at dramatic cost with a deep sense of loss even in the victories, goes through many tales. Other worldly and pantheistic imagery coexist in many ways. Animals and birds are often seen as messengers, harbingers, or symbolic -- many of the illuminated manuscript from Irish monasteries show the continuation of this sort of influence.
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I have only read a little of this book so far but I am impressed so far. It is not for the faint hearted but very informative especially for study purposes.
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