Cultivating Colonies of Heaven

Cultivating Colonies of Heaven Resources

The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West…Again by George G. Hunter III. See especially Chapter, 2. Pages 26-35 on monastic communities. Celtic Christianity–the form of Christian faith that flourished among the people of Ireland during the Middle Ages–has gained a great deal of attention lately. George G. Hunter III points out that while the attention paid to the Celtic Christians is well deserved, much of it fails to recognize the true genius of this ancient form of Christianity. What many contemporary Christians do not realize is that Celtic Christianity was one of the most successfully evangelistic branches of the Church in history.

Living Between Worlds: Place and Journey in Celtic Spirituality by Philip Sheldrake. Sheldrake explores the roots and context of Celtic Christianity, its choice of particular landscapes and sacred sites, the ideal of enclosure and religious stability, the theme of pilgrimage, its strong sense of boundaries, and its reverence for the sacred in nature. He also seeks to explain the lure of Celtic spirituality for many Church people today who are disillusioned with the institutional Church and seek an alternative religious sensibility with strong roots and a capacity for wonder and surprise.

How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill. Cahill shows how the Celtic believers established the first Christian culture outside of the boundaries of the Roman Empire. Not only did Celtic monks and scribes maintain the very record of Western civilization at the time after the Roman Empire collapsed – copying manuscripts of Greek and Latin writers, both pagan and Christian, while libraries and learning on the continent were forever lost -- they brought their uniquely Celtic worldview to the task.

Celtic Christian Communities: Live the Tradition by Ian Bradley. Bradley discusses distinctive themes in Celtic Christianity such as monasticism, worship, the communion of saints and pilgrimage. He then moves on to consider building “colonies of heaven” today as communities of prayer, artistic and creative activity, hospitality and team ministry, suggesting the future-ancient directions for living the faith today.