Original Research - Special Collection: Missiology and Religion Studies and Spirituality

Celtic spirituality and contemporary environmental issues

Graham Duncan
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 71, No 3 | a2857 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i3.2857 | © 2015 Graham Duncan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 November 2014 | Published: 11 August 2015

About the author(s)

Graham Duncan, Department of Church History and Church Polity, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


Celtic spirituality has a long and distinguished ancestry with its origins in pre-Christian times. It was inculturated among peoples in the far west of Europe, particularly in Ireland, Scotland and the north and south-west of England. It was different from Roman Christianity in distinct ways until the mid-7th century CE when Roman Christianity became the norm in Britain and Ireland. This spirituality has endured throughout the centuries and has experienced a revival from the latter half of the 20th century. From its inception, it has been closely linked to the environment. Over the years many key aspects of Celtic spirituality have been integrated in many religious traditions and shows similarities with and can contribute to a new ethical perspective on environmental issues. This article investigates the current environmental crisis from a faith perspective and attempts to draw lessons from Celtic traditions of spirituality in a scientific age.


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