Cover Picture Matthew Knell

Faculty Research Seminar - The Praying Irish: Lessons from Early Celtic Spirituality


Open to: Current faculty, students and staff at the London Global Gateway


Join us for Matthew Knell's 'The Praying Irish: Lessons from Early Celtic Spirituality', the next in the Faculty Research Seminar Series at the University of Notre Dame's London Global Gateway.

This is a fortnightly opportunity for our faculty members to present research they are undertaking, welcoming questions and challenges from a multidisciplinary audience.

No specialist knowledge is assumed – a wide variety of subjects will be presented in a manner that it is accessible to all. Whatever your experience, your contributions will be appreciated greatly.

About Matthew Knell's research seminar:

This seminar will look at the nature of Christianity in pre-Catholic Ireland, from the conversion of the Irish peoples given their pagan background to the expressions of their faith in a highly illiterate society. Whilst recognising many of the elements of Celtic spirituality that have been gaining popularity in recent decades, such as music and art, it will begin by exploring the core ideas of God and humanity that underpinned the message that was communicated. In this context we see a spirituality that is more embodied, less liturgical and dogmatic, with potential strengths in relating to recent cultural changes with which later traditions have struggled to engage. The seminar will look at the historical development of the Celtic Church and its role in the expansion of Christianity in Central and Northern Europe, before assessing the reasons for and results from the ultimate domination of the Catholic faith in the island. There is a challenge that a combination of the strengths of Celtic and Catholic can better meet the needs of the current Irish society than either expression on its own.