A very informative book. Dr. Newell gives a lovely overview of Celtic Christianity. I especially loved the notion of Celtic concentration on St. John because he was believed to be listening to the heartbeat of God. The collection of prayers in the book gives a clear glimpse at what the Celtic Church was before Western Church domination. I read the book with a mixture of dismay at the loss of many Celtic traditions, and joy at having the opportunity to see some traditions that survived. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in exploring a deeper relationship with God.
This excellent little book makes a good first foray into the subject of Celtic spirituality. It does this taking a generally chronological approach, giving insights about Celtic spirituality through consideration of several individuals and literary works. It begins with Pelagius, who presented a different view of the world than his contemporary Augustine of Hippo, who first articulated the spirituality that so many are rediscovering today. Then comes John Scotus Eriugena, born in the early ninth century, whom the author characterizes as possibly the greatest teacher ever produced by the Celtic branch of the church, but who none the less influenced the entire church. Then he looks at the Carmina Gaedelica, the collection of Celtic prayers and songs from the highlands and islands of Scotland in the nineteenth century. The next two chapters look at the work of George MacDonald and George MacLeod. Finally, he looks at "Two Ways of Listening: John and Peter," in which he presents a way of reconciling the two sundered traditions of European spirituality. Celtic Spirituality is a vast and deep topic, but this is an excellent introduction anyone can understand and enjoy.