ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What is Celtic Christianity?

Updated on March 16, 2011

Christianity in the celtic-speaking world developed in its own unique.way. Celtic spirituality was imbued with a respect for the natural world and this influenced the practice of Christianity in Celtic countries (mainly Ireland, Scotland and Wales). Today there are still unique traditions mixing Christian practice with older Celtic beliefs, and the old sense of celtic spirituality has been revived and re-imagined through the books of John O'Donohue, among others.

In the first centuries AD, the emerging Christian religion was understood and practiced quite differently in different parts of the world. Celtic Christianty was notable for a strong commitment to monasticism - the early Irish and Scottish monks founded settlements on isolated and windswept islands, far from daily human life. In this way Celtic Christianity was similar to the practices of the Desert fathers who shunned human society and sought God in solitude. It offers us an insight into an older, now-forgotten form of Christianity.

Celtic Christianity in the early middle ages was notable for the number of saints who travelled across Europe, risking injury and death, to share their Christian faith with various pagan peoples. In later years, the practice of Christianity came under heavier influence from Rome and distinct practices such as the Celtic way of determining the date of Easter were gradually erradicated. Despite this, in the Celtic-speaking world (mainly the countries we know today as Ireland, Scotland and Wales), people's undestanding of Christianity continued to be influenced by older Celtic beliefs and practices. The Cetlic peoples had always had a close, spiritual relationship with the landscape around them. This led to a form of Christianity intimately connected with sacred sites such as 'holy wells' and mountains which were sites of pilgrimage. In Ireland these holy places are still important today and are visited by believers in search of hope and healing.

John O'Donohue, an Irish writer and Catholic scholar, has written beautifully on the subject of Celtic spirituality invoking the Irish tradition of blessings and soul-friendship and bringing them into the twenty-first century. To me, he respresents a continuance of the ideals of the early Celtic Christian monks and nuns who looked for God in all they saw around them.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)