N.T. Wright on the appeal of Celtic Christianity

…In particular, and related especially to the part of the world where I now live – Great Britain – the last generation has seen a sudden upsurge of interest in all things Celtic. Indeed, the very word “Celtic” is enough, when attached to music, prayers, buildings, jewelry, T-shirts, and anything else that comes to hand, to win the attention, and often enough the money, of people in today’s Western culture. It seems to speak of a haunting possibility of another world, a world in which God (whoever he may be) is more directly present, a world in which humans get along better with their natural environment, a world with roots far deeper, and a hidden music far richer, than the shrill and shallow world of modern technology, soap operas, and football managers. The world of the ancient Celts – Northumbria, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, Ireland, and Scotland – seems a million miles from modern-day Christianity. That is, no doubt, why it is so attractive to people bored or even angry with official religion in Western churches.

But the real center of Celtic Christianity – the monastic life, with great stress on extreme bodily asceticism and energetic evangelism – is hardly what people are looking for today.

-N.T. Wright, Simply Christian, p. 23

Wrights hits the nail on the head here. I find it attractive for these very same reasons. It’s still Jesus, but it’s a thousand light-years away from suburbia. I’ve been praying the office of the Northumbria community for a while (on and off). It’s simple daily liturgy and scripture reading schedule. From the comfort of your chair and laptop. No need for a cell at Skellig.

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