Book suggestions from Lindisfarne

A fellow named David from the Community of Aidan and Hilda has gotten in touch with me. He shares my conviction that Christian mysticism and Celtic spirituality naturally coinhere. Visiting his community's website stirs in me a longing to visit both Lindisfarne and Iona, neither of which I have yet to see (I always seem to end up in Ireland whenever I go to the British Isles).David recommended three books to me: Exploring Celtic Spirituality by Ray Simpson Restoring the Woven Cord by … [Read more...]

My Schedule in Portland

For my friends on the west coast: here is the schedule for my trip to Portland, OR, the weekend of October 28-31, 2010.Thursday, October 28: Still to be determined; either an evening presentation/booksigning at an area bookstore, or a "beer & theology" event a local pub. I'll post details here as soon as it's worked out.Friday, October 29: 7:00 PM: "The Underlying Stream of Mysticism in the Christian Tradition" St David of Wales Episcopal Church, 2800 SE Harrison, Portland, OR … [Read more...]

The Snakes and the Slaves

Happy Saint Patrick's Day.As I ponder on this day, I am reminded that it, like Columbus Day, can elicit a radically different response from people, based on their world-view and value system. Columbus Day for Euro-Americans was traditionally a day of celebration and commemoration of "discovery," but for Native Americans and those who share concern for the plight of indigenous people who face the brunt of colonialist expansion, Columbus Day has become the symbol of loss. As one pundit put it, … [Read more...]

Christ of the Celts

Christ of the Celts: The Healing of Creation By J. Philip Newell San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008 Review by Carl McColmanOne of the concerns I have about so-called "Celtic Christianity" is that it seems, well, so white. It's spirituality for nice middle-class white folks, who want to feel good about loving nature and embracing a basically liberal theology. I'm not saying that Celtic Christianity is racist so much as it is simply ethnic, rather than catholic (universal). So those misgivings … [Read more...]

Pelagius, Augustine, Original Sin, Orthodoxy, and the Celts…

In Christ of the Celts, J. Philip Newell takes aim at the conflict between Augustine and Pelagius over the question of original sin — a chickenfight that eventually resulted in Pelagius and Pelagianism getting condemned as heretical. Newell sees clear political ramifications in this doctrinal skirmish: The doctrine of original sin was a convenient "truth" for the builders of empire. They could continue to conquer the world and subdue peoples. And now they could do it with the authority of a d … [Read more...]

Four Dimensions of Christian Spirituality for Our Time

About a month ago I wrote this: I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how my spiritual identity is shaped by the contemplative tradition (as exemplified by the Lay-Cistercian community where I am in formation), my Celtic heritage (of which I have written several books and which continues to inform much of my self-understanding as a Christian), my love for mysticism (primarily Christian mysticism, but extending into all the wisdom streams of the world) and the emergent conversation ( … [Read more...]

Feile Bríde

Happy St. Brigid's day, everyone! Or, to call it by its proper Irish name, Feile Bríde (the festival of Brigid). Since I'm trying to spend more time editing my book than updating this blog these days, I'll keep this brief: first, here's a couple of links to explore...A wonderful biography of Brigid, courtesy of St. Dunstan's Priory in Colorado; The Solas Bhríde (Light of Brigid) Center in Kildare, Ireland, where Brigidine sisters keep alive the saint's commitment to peace, justice, prayer, a … [Read more...]


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