A Celtic Bibliography


Celtic cross Iona Abbey

Celtic cross Iona Abbey, Scotland

Yesterday  after I posted about Celtic Christianity Adam McHugh asked for a bibliography.  Being a strong  believer in the fact that we should never repeat good work that someone else has already done, I have adapted the very comprehensive bibliography given to me some time ago by good friend and expert on Celtic spirituality  Tom Cashman.

I have added websites of where you can buy these books in most cases – often through Amazon I am sorry though sometimes I did find them on the Goodreads website.  I would also suggest that you contact Hearts and Minds bookstore as another independent outlet for book purchases.

Adam, David: Flame In My Heart: St. Aidan For Today  SPCK London 1997

David Adam is Warden of the Lindisfarne Community.  He writes poetically and non-academically about the Celtic apostle Aidan, who brought Christianity to the Picts of Northern Scotland, and in whose footsteps Adam today follows.

Allchin, A. M Praise Above All: Discovering the Welsh Tradition  University of Wales Press  1991  A look at the consistent emphasis on the praise of God in the Celtic tradition, including its legends, songs, poetry, hymns, from earliest times to the present.

Eriugena, John Scotus   The Voice Of The Eagle (Homily On The Prologue To The Gospel of John) Translated by Christopher Bamford  Lindisfarne Books, Great Barrington, MA 2000  Eriugena is the second great theologian of the Celtic Christian world.  The Gospel of John with its imagery and myticism was a primary resource for them.  This commentary is primary material for understanding the Celtic Christian perspective and its Johannine roots.

Bradley, Ian The Celtic Way University Press, Cambridge  1993  Still the best basic overview of Celtic Christianity; often used as the text for initial classes.  Excellent chapters on Pelagius & Augustine, and on the future of this movement of the Spirit

______________ Celtic Christian Communities: Colonies of Heaven  Northstone Publishing  Kelowna, BC 2000  This recent book by Bradley takes us into practical application of the world view and spiritual practice of the Celtic Christian church.  This is a “must read” for any student of the future, emerging church.

Bitel, Lisa M. Isle of the Saints: Monastic Settlement and Christian Community in Early Ireland  Cornell University Press  1990  Drawn from accounts of saints lives written between 800 and 1200, Bitel gives us a vivid look at monastic life and the social networks of the medieval Irish monks.

Carmichael, Alexander  Carmina Gaedelica: Hymns and Incantations  Lindisfarne Press  1995  First and only English translation and compilation of the five volumes of oral history collected in the original Gaelic by Carmichael (1832-1912)

A must for any Celtic library.

Chadwick, Nora  The Celts  Penguin  1971  The history of Celtic culture in Britain from its origins to its transformation under the Romans and the Saxons by one of the foremost Celtic  scholars of the 20th century.  Excellent chapter on Celtic Christianity.

Clancy, Padraigin  Celtic Threads: Exploring the Wisdom of Our Heritage  Veritas Publications (Dublin) 1999  Ms. Clancy is an Irish folklorist who has gathered contributions from a wide range of authors.  Articles include those from the Benedictine perspective (Sean O Duinn), the Green Party (Nuala Ahern), mystical music (Noirin Ni Riain), a feminist theologian (Mary Condren), a philosopher/story teller (John Moriarty) and Michael Rodgers of the Glendalough Retreat Centre.  This is an intriguing collection of essays for the Celtic seeker.

Cronin, Deborah K. Holy Ground  Upper Room Books 1999  A beautifully written account of her personal journey into Celtic Christian Spirituality, written by an ordained Methodist superintendent and educator.  Dr. Cronin weaves humor and personal insights into this jewel of a book.

Davies, Oliver and Bowie, Fiona   Celtic Christian Spirituality:  An Anthology of Medieval and Modern Sources.  SPCK London  1995  An authoritative and scholarly collection; a wide range of both ancient and modern writings on the Celtic tradition, some appearing in English for the first time.  There is a strong Welsh poetry and praise prayer content.

Davies, Oliver Celtic Spirituality (Classics of Western Spirituality Series) Paulist Press 1999  This is the most definitive collection of source documents available in English.  It includes both letters from the hand of Patrick, works from Columba and Columbanus, and hagiographies of Brigit and David, among others.  This is a prime reference for any serious student of the Celtic Christian tradition.

DeWaal, Esther  Every Earthly Blessing; Celebrating a Spirituality of Creation  Servant Publications 1991  One of the best introductions of Celtic Spirituality, containing splendid examples from Celtic poetry and other writings.

____________ The Celtic Way of Prayer

Eriugena, John Scotus  The Voice of the Eagle  Lindisfarne Press 1990 Translation and introduction is by Christopher Bamford.  John the Scot is the 9th century  Celtic scholar who followed in the footsteps of Pelagius to anchor the theological tradition of the Celtic church.  Here he reflects on the Prologue of the Gospel of John, and often speaks directly to issues of our 21st century church.

Evans, Robert F. Pelagius: Inquiries and Reappraisals    Seabury Press 1968   One of the earliest of a number of contemporary theologians re-evaluating the role of Pelagius in his era as proponent of the Celtic view on sin and grace.  Many are now concluding that Pelagius was the orthodox, mainstream thinker of his time and that his antagonists were the radicals.  This is an excellent examination of that critique.

Ellis, Peter Berresford Ellis  Celtic Women   Eerdmans  1995  One of the best of Ellis’ books on women in the Celtic culture, including church leaders such as Brigit and Hilda.   Intriguing insights into the life style, structure and culture of monastic communities.

Finney, John Recovering the Past; Celtic and Roman Mission   Darton Longman & Todd 1996  Finney compares and contrasts the Celtic and Roman mission approach of the 6-7th centuries and shows how we can learn from them today.   The differences in evangelism are particularly worth considering.  Hunter follows him.

Hunter, George G. The Celtic Way of Evangelism  Abingdon Press 2000  Dr. Hunter contrasts the evangelistic approach of the Celtic monks with the approach of the Church today.  The acculturation method of those monks has huge implications for evangelism today and the future of the Church in a time of major transition.

Joyce, Timothy OSB  Celtic Christianity: A Sacred Tradition, A Vision of Hope Orbis 1998   Joyce is a Benedictine priest and monk, and an American Irish Catholic who writes the first significant book from this perspective.   This book also covers the period from the 11th century through contemporary attempts at Celtic reclamation.

Joyce, Timothy OSB Celtic Quest; A Healing Journey for Irish Catholics  Orbis 2000  Fr. Joyce brings us another important book exploring many factors in the loss of our Celtic Christian heritage.  The Irish Catholic tradition is shown as particularly impacted, and this book becomes both conduit and resource for the healing process.

Lehane, Brendan The Quest of Three Abbotts Lindisfarne Press  Hudson NY 1998  This is a comprehensive look at the lives (and journeys) of three great monastic leaders, Brendan (to American), Columba (to Iona), and Columbanus (to Christianize Europe).  He weaves their lives into the emergence of the Celtic Church.

Mackey, James P.   An Introduction to Celtic Christianity  Biddles Ltd Surrey 1995  Fourteen essays on aspects of Celtic spirituality including scripture commentary, missionary activity, literature and art.   Well annotated.  Some source documents.

Matthew, John Drinking From The Sacred Well HarperCollins 1998 The author is well known for his prolific pre-Christian heroic and Arthurian works.  Here he produces a series of remarkably lucid, charming cameos of the lives of Celtic saints, including some not well known, such as Senan, Berach and Mochuda.

Mitton, Michael The Soul of Celtic Spirituality Twenty Third Publications 1996  Mitton uses the stories of the Celtic saints to illustrate his thesis that the ancient Celtic Church has much to say to us today.  He is a co-founder of St. Aidan Trust.  Originally published in the UK as Restoring the Woven Cord Darton Longman & Todd.

Moorehouse, Geoffrey Sun Dancing Phoenix London 1997  The author is a novelist and commentator who constructs an intriguing novelette of the monastic life on Skellig Michael 6th – 13th Century.  The second half of the book provides a more scholarly presentation of the historical evidence that supports his suppositions and conclusions.

Newell, J. Philip Listening for the Heartbeat of God  Paulist Press 1997  Newell develops the Johannine theme of experiential (Celtic) Christianity contrasting it with the predominant intellectual Petrine (Roman) tradition.  Most important, he shows how both are needed for balance.  Also explores the Scottish Presbyterianism.

_______________ One Foot in Eden; A Celtic View of the Stages of Life  Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 1998  This series of reflections on birth to death and beyond helps to understand in a fundamental way what our roles are at each stage of our lives. Must read!

_______________ The Book of Creation; An Introduction to Celtic Spirituality  Paulist Press 1999  This series of meditations on the seven days of creation explores aspects of God infused in the Celtic Christian ethos.   Seldom does our tradition consider the wildness, the fecundity, and the creatureliness of God.  But Newell does in a manner that enchants and inspires and enlarges our awareness of God in creation.  Must read!

_______________ Echo of the Soul: The Sacredness of the Human Body  Canterbury Press 2000 Starting from Genesis 1 where humanity is made in the image of God, Newell explores the different manifestations that may have from seven perspectives: the mystery of self, the wisdom of self, the strength of self, the beauty of self, the creativity of self, the eternity of self, and the presence of self. Must read!

_______________ Christ of the Celts: The Healing of Creation  Jossey-Bass 2008 This book will challenge the theology of many Christians. Newell takes on the virgin birth, original sin, redemption, and a good part of the legacy of the Roman church.  Must read!

O’Donoghue, Noel Dermot The Mountain Behind The Mountain  T&T Clark Ltd. Edinburgh 1993  The author grew up in SW Ireland and looks through the lens of his place and time at Celtic Creation Spirituality.  He examines the writings of George Macdonald and Teilhard de Chardin as conduits illuminating the essence of Celtic Spirit in our own day.

Pemberton, Cintra OSH Soulfaring: Celtic Pilgrimage Then and Now Morehouse Publishing 1999  Not only a detailed guide to Celtic sacred places, but  an exploration of the motivation and method of pilgrims and pilgrimage.  A unique and excellent work that will companion you intensely from the first pages.

Pennick, Nigel The Celtic Cross  Blandford 1997  The definitive book on Celtic crosses, their evolving forms, symbolism, and typology.  Many illustrations and photographs are provided. Various methods of cross interpretation are outlined.

Pullen, Bruce Reed Discovering Celtic Christianity    Twenty-Third Publications 1999  A “Readers Digest” generalist overview of Celtic Christianity with British emphasis by one who was a pilgrim.  Despite his economy of words, his summaries are solid and well described.  This is a good read for the beginner in Celtic studies.

Roy, James Charles  The Road Wet, The Wind Close: Celtic Ireland  Dufour Editions 1987  Roy relates an historical journey as well as a personal one through Irelend. A most marvelous chapter on Skellig Michael begins the book.  His photographs and anecdotal detail quickly lock you into this narrative.

Sampson, Fay Visions and Voyages Triangle Books  London 1998.  The author is a novelist who, caught up by the history of her country and her faith tradition, sets out to research and write a free narrative history of the Celtic Church.  The results are very readable and remarkably insightful, but probably not for the academic.

Sheldrake, Philip  Living Between Worlds:  Place and Journey in Celtic Spirituality  Darton, Longman & Todd  1995   The sacredness of place, earth, tuatha, and landscape are thoroughly explored by Sheldrake.   He offers the “edge place” concept.

Simpson, Ray  Exploring Celtic Spirituality  Hodder & Stoughton Ltd 1995  Another founder of St. Aidan Trust, Ray Simpson offers a vision of the future as well as an exploration of our Celtic roots.   Like Newell, he sees the Gospel of John as representative of the Celtic & Eastern Churches, balancing the Petrine & Pauline legs of the Christian tripod.

Sellner, Ed Wisdom of the Celtic Saints    Ave Maria Press 199  This is an excellent collection of stories and legends of various saints, including some of the more obscure.  Particularly useful is the introduction identifying hallmarks of the Celtic Christian worldview.  Lacks annotation.

____________ The Celtic Soul Friend     Ave Maria Press  Notre Dame IN 2002  Tracking the anamchara concept of the Celtic Christians, Dr. Sellner explores the spiritual practice of the soul-friend relationship in the Celtic church.  He also follows it as an overall icon of the value of relationship in the Celtic Christian culture.

Snyder, Graydon F.  Irish Jesus, Roman Jesus; The Formation of Early Irish Christianity  Trinity Press International  Harrisburg PA 2002  What would Christianity look like if the Jesus tradition had been first planted in a tradition other than the Roman.  Snyder speculates on the results through an Irish lens, using everything from Paul’s letters to the Galatians to Irish stone crosses and architecture as data.

Toulson, Shirley The Celtic Year: A Celebration of Celtic Christian Festivals Element  1993  A delightful compendium of saints from all the Celtic countries along with the significant Celtic festivals, month by month.  A pilgrimage guide with maps is included.

Tom Cashman                Corporate Coaching & Consulting            September, 2009

8 Responses

  1. […] from Google Blogs]: A Celtic Bibliography « Godspace Tags: christian spirituality Categories: christian spirituality, Feeds You can leave a […]

  2. […] definitive collection of source documents available in English. … … Excerpt from: A Celtic Bibliography « Godspace ← 8/5: Eliminating Tentativeness | Lectures – Christian […]

  3. Comprehensive. Now what I need is for someone to prioritize the list. Which ones are essential or must reads?

  4. […] A Celtic Bibliography « Godspace […]

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  6. […] week I posted this resource list for Celtic spirituality that Tom Cashman had sent me.  He graciously reminded me that he had also […]

  7. Reblogged this on Godspace and commented:

    Yesterday several people requested a Celtic booklist. I posted this a couple of years ago but thought I would save you all the challenge of hunting for it. Thanks to Tom Cashman who provided this very comprehensive list – and if you know of others that should be there please let me know

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