NINIAN AND FINNIAN

monreith-Cross

I’ve written a good deal about the centuries following the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, the era that in parts of Europe we commonly call a Dark Age. This was a remarkable time for Christian survival and growth in some areas – and of the destruction of the faith in others. This [Read More...]

IRELAND’S LOST GOSPELS

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I recently posted on the wide range of alternative scriptural materials that survived in the early Irish church – and apparently, in very few other places in the Christian world. But it is in the realm of gospels that Ireland produces the most surprising findings. Throughout the Middle Ages, scholars across Western Europe make startling [Read More...]

THE THREE WISE DRUIDS

codex_usserianus_primus_folio_149v

I have been working recently on the survival of ancient alternative gospels and other scriptures through the Middle Ages and Early Modern period. Ireland especially was a staggeringly rich treasury for “lost” early Christian texts. This would be so important because of the critical role that Irish monks played in the conversion of England and [Read More...]

OUT OF EGYPT

Faddan More Psalter

Material objects can evoke distant periods of history far more powerfully than even the greatest texts. Sometimes, they can also teach astonishing lessons. In the study of early and medieval Christianity, one of the most significant finds of modern times occurred in 2006, when peat diggers in Ireland’s County Tipperary uncovered a psalter from around [Read More...]

THE FIRST GLOBAL CHRISTIANITY

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Through the years, I have written a good deal about the globalization of Christianity in the modern world, but that interest springs naturally from much older interests of mine in transnational linkages in earlier eras. As I posted recently, the church of the early Middle Ages was thoroughly transcontinental, with all sorts of unsuspected linkages [Read More...]


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