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Stephen Lawhead

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Post by annis » Thu September 25th, 2008, 4:48 am

Interesting point about the acceptability of the concept of trinity amongst the Celts, Margaret. The trinity symbol is prevalent in Celtic imagery- I'm thinking of the triskelion knot, for example. Traditionally in Celtic paganism the trinity knot was seen as a drawing of the three aspects of female power: Mother, Crone, and Maiden.

The three women who take Arthur away could fit in with this concept of the Celtic trinity .

The trinity also often symbolises three sisters, such as
The three Moirae in Greek mythology
The three Parcae in Roman mythology
The three Norns in Norse mythology

A more metaphysical understanding sees the symbol as standing for mind, body and spirit.

It might not have been too much of a jump to transfer to the early Christian understanding of the trinity as symbolising as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In fact it's possible that the trinity was "appropriated" by Christianity to make Christian philosophies fit into already existing ideas and patterns of worship, as were festivals like Easter and Christmas.

Melvyn Bragg's novel "Credo" aka "The Sword and the Miracle" is a good read about the early Church in Ireland and Britain, and through the story of the main character, Breda, features the struggle between Pagan and Christian, and Celtic Christianity against Roman Catholicism.
Last edited by annis on Thu September 25th, 2008, 4:56 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Post by Margaret » Thu September 25th, 2008, 7:07 pm

Well stated, Annis. Except that I gave up halfway through Credo/The Sword and the Miracle - alas, I found it meandering and sleep-inducing.
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Post by annis » Fri September 26th, 2008, 5:54 am

Oh dear! I quite enjoyed it, though I did get a bit frustrated at times with Breda's determined and life-denying march toward holy martyrdom.

Maybe you'd find Peter Tremayne's Sister Fidelma series set in seventh century Ireland less soporific?
Fidelma is an Irish nun of aristocratic background, who is a dálaigh ( a combination judge/detective) to the Brehon Court of Ireland.
They are historical mysteries so there's a new case to solve with each book.

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Post by javagirl » Sun November 8th, 2009, 11:38 pm

Byzantium is the only one I've read but I really loved it and can imagine reading it again some day.

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