At 11:36 AM 4/29/97 GMT+1000, Paul Wagner wrote [somewhat abbreviated]:
>The life in mainstream monastaries founted in the early 6th century
>is described as "extreme" asceticism. The lives of the celtic saints
>of the time have that flavour too eg St Aiden was given a fine horse
>by a king, but he gave it to the first poor family he came accross.
>St Bridget, born in 450, said the 3 things most pleasing to God were
>a pure heart, a simple life, and generosity with charity. The point
>here is how do such people "get away from it all"? What do they have
>left to give up?
>I guess the thing is I don't see the Celi De as dreadfully extreme by
>the standard of the day. The Celi De were indeed a reform movement,
>but that implies they were trying to revive something they felt was
>being lost, with implies it was there once. From what I've read of
>the celtic saints, they often withdrew to extreme isolation in a
>Culdee-sih way, which sounds pretty extreme to us, but really wasn't
>that much barer than their normal lives, which were pretty low key
>already. What the culdee were advocating was more emphasis on what
>had always been a part of celtic monastic tradition.
>Hope this helps - let me know how it goes!
I think we're more or less in agreement, which is a good thing for me to
know. We just have slightly different perceptions. Granted, the Celi De
were actualizing a way of life that was already part of the Celtic
tradition, but this was always an extremist position. This is also where I
think Chadwick's argument may be attacking straw men. It all depends on how
you define Culdee. And it may well be that, in 8th cen Ireland, monasticism
had by and large become too worldly, and ascetics too far and few between.
It seems quite similar to the Cluniac reform of Benedictine monasticism (and
all the directions that led!). And just as a side note, alcoholic intake
has by no means been something I've been keeping a close eye on in my
research, but Maelruain's temperance is the earliest such evidence I've come
Thanks for your help. As for the paper, word one has yet to be written.
Target date for chapter one is this week-end (of course, the nice little
time-line I created for myself at the beginning of Spring Quarter had
chapter one turned in today). The hives can't be far behind ...