“The early Christians of Ireland developed an expression of the faith characterized by deep devotion and fascinating stories,” Newman said. “It offers rich insights for modern issues such as promoting a caring society, relating to the natural world and welcoming strangers.”
Writers often use the metaphor of journey or pilgrimage to describe the Christian life. What distinguishes this book and its development of that theme is its invitation to readers to experience their personal faith journeys through Celtic lenses. Pilgrimage is part of the DNA of Celtic Christians. The faith spread and flourished in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Northern England between the 5th and 11th centuries because saints like Patrick, Brigid, and Columba traveled extensively, preaching, teaching, and founding monasteries. Soon small groups of Christians began to go out from these locations and begin new Christian communities.
By connecting historical information with their current lives and concerns, readers will be encouraged to consider the many ways pilgrimage has shaped their personal faith. They will discover the value and contributions of fellow travelers on the faith journey and how they assist and shape that journey. By recalling how Celtic Christians celebrated and marked significant moments in their lives of faith, readers will discover ways they can develop this practice. They will affirm the importance of both offering and receiving hospitality on the faith journey, a discipline that was critical to the Celts. They will also have opportunities to deal with difficult life journeys such as transitions and opportunities for forgiveness, and the importance of blessing one another in a world that values polarization over cooperation and competition over community.
With an introduction that sets the tone and introduces the theme and six chapters related to distinctives of Celtic Christianity, this book is ideal for small groups whose members want to grow together in their spiritual understandings and commitments.
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