The History of Leith

May 25, 2011

Celtic Christianity or Insular Christianity

Celtic Christianity or Insular Christianity refers broadly to certain features of Christianity that were common, or held to be common, across the Celtic-speaking world during the Early Middle Ages. “Celtic Christianity” has been conceived of with differing levels of specificity: some writers have thought of it as a distinct “Celtic Church” uniting the Celtic peoples and distinguishing them from the “Roman” Catholic Church, while others classify it as simply a set of distinctive practices occurring in those areas. Scholars now reject the former notion, but note that there were certain traditions and practices used in both the Irish and British churches but not in the wider Christian world. These include a distinctive system for determining the dating of Easter, a style of monastic tonsure, a unique system of penance, and the popularity of going into “exile for Christ”.[3] Additionally, there were other practices that developed in certain parts of the Celtic world, but which are not known to have spread beyond a particular region. Rituals associated with Celtic Christianity are now almost completely lost, though two books, the Bobbio and the Stowe Missals, contain the Irish Ordinary of a daily Mass in late, Romanized form. for more click here

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