Celtic Spirituality (Classics of Western Spirituality)Celtic Spirituality (Classics of Western Spirituality)
Oliver Davies
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The rich and diverse collection of texts newly translated from Latin, Irish and Welsh marks a landmark in the study of Celtic Christianity. In these pages we find saints' lives, sermons, liturgy, monastic rules, penitentials and exegesis as well as devotional texts, poems and works of theology. The effect is to create a sense of a Christian civilization that is deeply life-affirming, imbued with a pervasive sense of divine presence and wonderfully at ease with itself.
The history of the texts is outlined in the introduction, as is the early history of Christianity among the Celtic peoples. Oliver Davies offers the reader an authoritative though accessible discussion of the complexities of the term Celtic and the debate surrounding the existence of a distinctively Celtic kind of Christianity resulting from an original interaction between Celtic primal religionsand the missionary Christianity of the ancient world. He highlights in particular the place of the body in defining the human, the privileging of creativity in poetry and art, the production of empowering images of women and an emphasis upon nature as an autonomous sphere caught up int he drama of the relation between humantiy and God.
At various times in Christian history, Celtic Christian texts have been applauded by different denominations as representing a valuable alternative to later currents in Christianity, and for many today Celtic Christianity remains an intriguing "other." As products of a time and place very different from our own, the wide range of texts in this volume open up worlds for the contemporary reader which have a freshness and an immediacy that will unfailingly provoke, challenge and fascinate.
     

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I. Introduction
An Introduction to Celtic Spirituality
The Concept of a Celtic Spirituality
The Origins of Celtic Christianity
Celtic Christianity: Mission and Maturity
Toward a Celtic Spirituality
The Sources: Introduction to the Translated Texts
Hagiography ("The Patrick Tradition" by Thomas O'Loughlin)
Monastic Texts
Poetry
Devotional Texts
Liturgy
Apocrypha
Exegesis
Homilies
Theology
A Note on the Selection and Translation

II. The Texts
Hagiography
1. The Patrick Tradition (by Thomas O'Loughlin)

i. Patrick's Declaration of the Great Works of God (the Confessio)
ii. The Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus
iii. The Sayings of Patrick (the Dicta)
iv. The Life of Patrich by Muirchu
v. Patrick's Breastplate (by Oliver Davies)
2. The Brigit Tradition
i. Ultan's Hymn
ii. The Life of St. Brigit the Virgin by Cogitosus
iii. The Irish Life of Brigit
3. The Voyage of Brendan
4. The Life of St. David by Rhigyfarch
The Life of Beuno
6. The Life of St. Melangell

Monastic Texts
1. The Preface of Gildas on Penance
2. The Penitential of Cummean
3. The Rule for Monks by Columbanus

Poetry
Irish Poems

1. A Hymn of Praise
2. The Lord of Creation
3. The Scribe in the Woods
4. My Speech
5. All Alone in My Little Cell
6. Grant Me Tears, O Lord
7. On the Flightiness of Thought
8. Three Wishes
9. The Saints' Calendar of Adamnan
10. A Prayer to the Archangels for Every Day of the Week
Welsh Poems
11. Almighty Creator
12. Padarn's Staff
13. Glorious Lord
14. Praise to the Trinity
15. Praise to God
16. Alexander's Breastplate17. Praising God at the Beginning and End
18. The Advice of Addaon
19. Elaeth's Englynion
20. The Song of Elaeth
21. The First Word I Say
22. Maytime IS the Fairest Season
23. Fragment of the Dispute Between Body and Soul
24. To the Trinity
25. Lord of Heaven
26. The Deathbed Song of Meilyr the Poet
27. Meilyr Son of Gwalchmai's Ode to God
28. The Deathbed Song of Cynddelw
29. The Loves of Taliesin
30. Poem to the Virgin Mary

Devotional Texts
1. May Your Holy Angels
2. O God, Lord of Creation
3. The Breastplate of Laidcenn
4. The Broom of Devotion
5. Litany of the Virgin and All Saints
6. Litany of the Creation
7. May This Journey BeEasy
8. The Path I Walk9. The Prayers of Moucan
10. The Protection of the Father and the Son

Liturgy:

1. The Tract ont eh Mass in the Stowe Missal
2. Two Eucharistic Chants from the Stowe Missal (by Thomas O'Loughlin)
3. Communion Hymn
4. Hymn at the Lighting of the Paschal Candle

Apocrypha

1. The Evernew Tongue (1-22)
2. The Creation of Adam
3. The Power of Women
4. The Vision of Adamnan

Exegesis:

1. A Mystical Interpretation of the Beati (Psalm 118)
2. Gloss on Psalm 103

Homilies
1. Sermons of Columbanus

i. Sermon Five
ii. Sermon Eight
iii. Sermon Eleven
iv. Sermon Thirteen
2. Catechesis Celtica: Commentary on Matthew XVI, 24
3. An Old Irish Homily
4. The Cambrai Homily
5. Three Sunday Catecheses (by Thomas O'Loughlin

Theology
1. On the Christian Life by Pelagius
2. "The High First-Sower" (the Altus Prosator)
3. Homily on the Prologue to The Gospel of John by John Scottus Eriugena
4. The Food of the Soul

Abbreviations
Notes
Select Bibliography

I. Principal Printed Sources of the Translations
II. Other Primary and Secondary Sources

Index