Learning about a Celtic Christology...

There is a friend and colleague of mine who is 90+ years old - sharp and wise as ever - who continues to help me think deeply about faith, church and why all of this matters. Recently, our correspondence considered some of my current ideas about Celtic spirituality - especially given the on-going collapse of traditional church of either the Reformed or Roman Catholic variety. In response to my message for this Sunday, one of his comments asked: "What does the realm of Celtic Spirituality say about Jesus?"

At first, I had to note my limited awareness re: Celtic Christology. It is now clear that a read of Fr. Thomas Galvin's A Celtic Christology: The Incarnation According to John Scottus Eriugena would be in order. With this caveat, observed that it is my hunch that like Franciscans those advocates of Celtic Spirituality tend to be more about experience than analysis. Nevertheless,I think there are a few clues re: Jesus that I have discerned from my study thus far.  

The Pelagian emphasis on the goodness of creation does not neglect 
evil and sin.  Rather, it realizes that human potential is often trapped and locked within the consequences of evil. We need to experience a love that can unlock sin and Christ brings us this liberation. His love unlocks the goodness trapped by sin, his grace overpowers the fears and shame of our hearts and "his redemption... frees the good that is in us and also at the heart of all life." (Newell)  In a word, I am gathering that the Celtic Christ unlocks the deepest truths within our conscience, sets them free to love as we were intended since the being formed in the image of God and shapes and corrects us through communion with Him in the body of Christ. (the Church) In this understanding, Newell writes, "the gift of the gospel is that we are instructed by the grace of Christ, encouraged and shown the true goodness of God (that is within us and all creation)..." and actively invited to be corrected by Jesus through a spiritual/ethical dialogue with both the person and teachings of Christ who stands ready to help correct our consciences and heal our souls. 

While there are some aspects of Celtic Christology that are still largely an unformed work in progress, the Community of Iona offers two additional insights. First, the Celts were at ease with paradox and quickly embraced God as Trinity. I need to read more about this but such an embrace suggests a theology deeper than mere a simplistic panentheism.  Some have likened Celtic thinking to Teilhard de Chardin (whom I need to read more closely for additional clues.)  But the Celtic connection to the Trinity is note worthy. And, then there is the work of George MacLeod: for him Christ arises from the mist as the one who gives shape and form to the truest incarnation of God's self in history. MacLeod is vigorous in his Christocentric prayers and ethics.  Of particular importance is his insistence that the incarnation renders ALL of creation - human flesh, politics, care for the earth, etc - as sacred. Jesus not only makes all things new, but Christ connects us to every living thing and cries holy without separating the sacred from the once denigrated secular. All is one through the presence of God Christ reveals.
I wonder if others have suggestions for deeper study?


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