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Early Christianity Overhead

Early Christianity Overhead - Rise of Celtic Spirituality...

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E ARLY I RISH C HRISTIANITY Saint Patrick – Patron Saint of the Irish o Stories and myths so numerous that it is hard to find the real man (i.e. shamrock, snakes) o 2 documents survive that tell us about his early life: his Confessions and a letter written later in his life o Patrick Not the First Missionary to the Irish o The Irish converted to Christianity without the bloodshed and martyrdom which was de rigueur with conversion elsewhere o Did not try to stamp out earlier pagan rituals but rather cleverly blended them with Christian theology o The Cult of Patrick and Armagh why did his name become forever associated with the Irish and the coming of Christianity to Ireland? By 7 th century, monasteries in Ireland were competing with each other for status and wealth o Church in Armagh, Ulster was one of the most ambitious and claimed to be founded by Patrick o Boosted him as the primary missionary of the Irish o Important in order to gain pilgrims o The Uí Néill (O’Neill) Influence
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Unformatted text preview: Rise of Celtic Spirituality • After Patrick’s death, vast majority of Irish still pagan Pockets of Christianity around the royal courts and local centers of power • From the beginning, Christian spread from the top down • Uniquely Irish Church o Religious authority had to be tied to secular o Ireland produced no Christian martyrs o promise of literacy o Local deities turned overnight into saints and saints took on the miraculous powers of pagan gods and goddesses o Strong women leaders in the early Irish Church • The Second Generation of Missionaries o Around 500, new group of founding saints from Britain galvanized the Irish church into its second growth spurt • Christianity had yet to reach a critical mass Catalyst needed before the monastic explosion began o Environmental factors led people to turn to Christianity, which filled power vacuum • By end of 6 th , for all intense purpose, a Christian Celtic land 1...
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