|About the Book|
From the dust jacket:Ireland was the essential link, during the Dark Ages, between the Graeco-Roman culture of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance. When the barbarian invasions swept over Europe, Ireland, almost alone, escaped. The torch ofMoreFrom the dust jacket:Ireland was the essential link, during the Dark Ages, between the Graeco-Roman culture of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance. When the barbarian invasions swept over Europe, Ireland, almost alone, escaped. The torch of learning, elsewhere extinguished, was kept alight in her monastic schools and she was able to hand it back to Europe when more settled conditions returned.In writing about the Celtic Church Doctor Pochin Mould has looked not only at the ruins of churches and the surviving manuscripts, at the weathered carving of the high crosses and the glitter of the Tara Brooch, but also at Ireland today. The Irishmen of the sixth century, as Doctor Mould herself emphasises, was very much the same kind of individual that you will meet in a curragh in the West or piloting a plane out of Shannon airport. Something indeed survives directly from the Celtic Church: the penitential routine of Lough Derg, the pilgrims who follow St. Patrick up Croagh Patrick, and, above all, the dynamic of present-day Irish piety which is a key to the dynamic of the Celtic Church and her Saints.In writing of these Saints - Patrick, Brendan, Brigit, and the rest - of the Raths and Monasteries, the Round Towers, High Crosses and Churches, and of the magnificent Reliquaries, the Jewellery and Illuminated Manuscripts, Doctor Mould has the support of some 60 illustrations. The Books of Kells and of Durrow, the Ardagh Chalice, the Tara Brooch, the Cross of Cong, the Shrine of St. Patricks Bell, Clonmacnoise, Cashel Rock and Glendalough - these are only the highlights in a collection of photographs which, like the text, succeeds in linking the Ireland of the Saints with the Ireland of today.