Francisca Rumsey uses two case studies from early Christian Ireland, the Nauigatio sancti Brendani abbatis and the Rules of the Céli Dé to demonstrate two different ways of understanding sacred time. One sees time as part of a good and holy creation, and therefore intrinsically good in itself; the other sees time as part of a fallen world needing redemption, and therefore in need of sanctification. The Céli Dé are often presented as part of a reform movement in early Irish monasticism. This question of monastic 'reform' is explored in detail to show that the received position regarding the Céli Dé is inaccurate. In fact, in the specific issue of liturgical prayer, their approach was innovative to the point of idiosyncrasy.
Table Of Contents
2. Different Ways of Praying - Historical Background
3. Different Opinions - Past and Present
4. Different Interpretations of Time - The Methodology and the Myth
5. Different Visions of Sacred Time - Implications of Liturgical Prayer
6. 'Different Men' - The Monks of the Nauivatio and the Céli Dé
7. Different Monastic Praxis - The Liturgy of the Hours
8. Different Structures - The Liturgical Year
9. Different Liturgical Theologies
10. Different Paths ... to the Same Goal?
11. Conclusion: Different Mentalities - The Parting of the Liturgical Ways?
Appendix A: Brendan the Abbot Celebrates Easter: Scriptural and Liturgical Paschal Allusions in the Nauigatio
Appendix B: The Identification of the Birds in the Nauigatio
Patricia M. Rumsey
Patricia Rumsey is a Poor Clare nun with an MA and a PhD in Theology from the University of Wales, Lampeter, UK. She has written and published on liturgy and early Irish monasticism and has lectured in England, Ireland and Scandinavia.
Thomas O'Loughlin is professor of historical theology in the University of Wales, Lampeter. His research has focused on the theology of the early medieval period, and on the works of insular writers in particular.
Refreshingly lucid and meticulously researched, Patricia Rumseys book will doubtless serve as an exemplar for future studies in a field whose appeal has all too often been limited to the recipients of specialized training. More than a liturgical history, it considers the theological significance of time in early Christian worship generally and in pre-viking Ireland specifically and offers a needed corrective to some long-held misapprehensions of early Irish monasticism. It may be read with pleasure and profit by any student or scholar of early medieval religious life. Recommended.
Westley Follett, University of Georgia, Author of Céli Dé in Ireland: Monastic Writing and Identity in the Early Middle Ages
Sacred Time in Early Christian Ireland by Patricia M. Rumsey was published by Continuum in July 2007 and is our 47228th best seller. The ISBN for Sacred Time in Early Christian Ireland is 9780567032058.