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A History of the Irish Church 400-700 A.D. [Paperback]

By John R. Walsh (A01)
Our Price $ 21.21  
Retail Value $ 24.95  
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Item Number 312677  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   192
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.46" Width: 6.58" Height: 0.64"
Weight:   0.54 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 5, 2003
Publisher   Columba Press
ISBN  1856074021  
EAN  9781856074025  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The Golden Age of Irish Art and the time when Ireland earned a reputation as an island of saints and scholars is the setting for the subject of this fine short history. The records of the time and the best of modern historical scholarship are combined in a clearly-written overview of this key period. The book starts with the origins of Christianity in Ireland and moves on to cover in detail the life, work, and character of Patrick. It outlines the origins and development of Irish monasticism and introduces some of the major monastic founders, including Colum Cille in Britain and Columba's efforts in Europe. The book concludes with a discussion of the penitentials, the Easter controversy, and early Irish Christian art. John R. Walsh is a past president of St. Columb's College and Thomas Bradley teaches religion and history at St. Columb's.

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More About John R. Walsh

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! JOHN WALSHJohn Walsh is an author, speaker, and professional storyteller. He is founder of the Christian Storytelling Network, which networks Christian storytellers nationwide. He is founder and president of BibleTelling, an organization dedicated to teaching people how to learn and tell Bible stories and use them in all phases of ministry. John travels around the world, speaking at conventions and conducting trainings for missionaries, pastors, teachers, and Christian workers. He conducts BibleTelling seminars in Israel, telling 110 Bible stories at the 45 sites where they happened.He produces a weekly video podcast "BibleTelling - Story-of-the-Week." It is available on With this, John tells the weekly Bible story and gives its background with added insights.John and his wife Jan reside in Bloomington, Illinois. They have four grown children and fourteen grandchildren.

John Walsh was born in 1927.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Ireland > General   [4518  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General   [4109  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History   [2753  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A deftly researched study  Jan 15, 2004
John R. Walsh and Thomas Bradley are a pair of expert history and religion teachers. They draw upon their considerable expertise in A History Of The Irish Church 400-700 AD, offering the reader a straightforward overview of the 300 year time span that characterized a true golden age in Irish art and an era when Ireland earned its lasting and justifiable reputation as a land of saints and scholars. A deftly researched study, narrated in a style as completely accessible to non-specialist general readers as it is to history scholars, A History Of The Irish Church 400-700 AD is a welcome and recommended addition to Irish History and Christian Historical Studies supplemental reading lists and library reference collections.
Irish eyes...  Sep 28, 2003
There have, over the past several years, been many texts highlighting the unique contribution of the Irish church to the preservation of the church, culture, and general literacy and administrative strength to Western civilisation. This book by John Walsh and Thomas Bradley fits well in this genre, exploring the history of the Irish church from the years 400-700, roughly corresponding to the time period from the fall of Rome to the beginnings of medievalism in Europe.

During this period, Ireland was saved much of the trouble caused during the general collapse of the Roman Imperial establishment and way of life across Western Europe, as such Imperium had never been established in Ireland. Even the Christianity that was brought over assumed a different character pastorally, academically and liturgically from its British and Continental sources. Walsh and Bradley begin with a brief chapter on Christianity prior to the advent of Patrick, and then devote three chapters to looking at Patrick, the great apostle to the Irish, in terms of who he was, his mission and its setting, and the Church at Armagh.

Following this, Walsh and Bradley look at Irish monasticism, its origins in France and Britain, and the way in which monastic structures came to rival the more traditional diocesan pattern of church authority and administration. Different theories are advanced, including the possibility of plague and the fact that Ireland lacked the secular Diocletian-instituted settings of administration the Continental church co-opted. Walsh and Bradley also look at the character of Irish monastic life liturgically, architecturally, administratively, and from a day-to-day living basis. Many leading Irish thinkers and saints came from the monastic tradition, and many of these leaders are highlighted.

Of particular note for Walsh and Bradley are Colum Cille, an Irish monastic who worked in Britain, and Columba, who saw as his mission field the areas of Continental Europe. Colum Cille was the first great Irish missionary abroad. Colum Cille might have had royal positions had he not turned his attention to the church instead. His upper-class connections likewise might have provided a respectability for the church among the royal and aristocratic classes, and ultimately providing it with an authority beyond simple moral authority. Colum Cille continued as a monastic to be involved in secular affairs, perhaps even being the cause of battles and strife such that he was driven into exile, where he established the community at Iona, famous to this day, and mother monastery to other famous places, such as Kells.

Columba is a very accessible person, having been a prolific writer who established communities and schools with libraries across the continent. Columba's missions took him all across Gaul, and into Italy and Germanic territories. His influence went even further afield, as did that of Irish monasticism generally, as people from Britain and the Continent decided to be trained and educated in the monasteries in Ireland, and then return to their homes with such influence as would be gained there.

Walsh and Bradley conclude by exploring issues such as the Easter-dating controversy and the wider issues it raised for local autonomy and diversity over against central authority and uniformity of practice, and by looking at the unique character and qualities of Celtic art as expressed through Irish Christian artists. Celtic crosses and illuminated manuscripts are but a few of the magnificent productions of this period.

Overall, this is a well-written and engaging book, meant for the casual reader as well as the general scholar. It includes a few endnotes with each chapter, and a bibliography arranged with general titles as well as resources specific to each chapter and topic covered. There are several basic but useful maps highlighting locations in Ireland, Britain and Continental Europe of monasteries, missions, and other important landmarks.

Columba Press (name for St. Columba, 'the dove of the church') is a growing press based in Ireland, begun in 1985 with three titles relating to religious and spiritual themes. Since then, they have grown substantially and now publish across a broad range of areas, including pastoral resources, spirituality, theology, the arts, and history. With over 200 books in print, they add another 30 or so each year. Additionally, they are the British/Irish/European distributors for many other titles in the same fields.


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