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This book introduces a mysterious and extraordinary spiritual world, one which drew on pre-Christian beliefs and culture and took form in the church as it developed among the Celtic peoples sixteen centuries ago. Celtic Christianity offers a rediscovery of an ancient tradition that can sustain spiritual seekers and renew the church today. As Timothy Joyce shows, Celtic spiritualityappeals to mind, body, and spirit. Joyous and mystical, it affirms the goodness of creation and the gifts of womenl it blossoms in poetry, myth, and song. While recounting the heroic tales of saints Patrick, Bridget, and Columcille, Joyce also goes beyond other books, showing how and why this distinctive tradition gradually was subsumed by a more rigid and authoritarian style of Catholocism. Finally, he movingly reflects on the centuries of suffering that have left an indelible mark on Irish consciousness and spirit.