K. Ritari, Pilgrimage to Heaven: Eschatology and Monastic Spirituality in Early Medieval Ireland

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Katja Ritari, Pilgrimage to Heaven: Eschatology and Monastic Spirituality in Early Medieval Ireland, Turnhout, 2016.

Éditeur : Brepols
Collection : Studia Traditionis Theologiae, 23
XI+223 pages
ISBN : 978-2-503-56539-2
65 €

This book focuses on the expectation of the Judgment and the afterlife in early medieval Irish monastic spirituality. It has been claimed that in the Early Middle Ages, Christianity became for the first time a truly otherworldly religion and in monastic spirituality this otherworldly perspective gained an especially prominent role. In this book, Dr Ritari explores the role of this eschatological expectation in various sources, including hagiography produced by the monastic familia of St Columba, the sermons of St Columbanus, the Navigatio sancti Brendani portraying St Brendan's sea voyages, and the vision attributed to St Adomnán about Heaven and Hell. One recurrent image used by the Irish authors to portray the Christian path to Heaven is the image of peregrinatio, a life-long pilgrimage. Viewing human life in this perspective inevitably influenced the human relationship with the world making the monastic into a pilgrim who is not supposed to get attached to anything encountered on the way but to keep constantly in mind the end of the journey.

Dr Katja Ritari is a Docent of Study of Religions at University of Helsinki and a research fellow at the Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies. Her areas of interest include early medieval theology, hagiography, monasticism, and Christianization.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction
1.a. Monastic life and death
1.b. Approaching monastic spirituality

2. Heavenly Citizens on Earth: The Irish Lives of Saints Adomnán and Columba
2.a. Irish hagiography and holiness
2.b. The Prudent saint in Betha Adamnáin
2.c. Monastery as holy ground in Betha Coluim Cille
2.d. Saints as heavenly People

3. Monastic Life as Pilgrimage: the Sermons of St Columbanus
3.a. Pilgrimage as spiritual exile
3.b. ‘Pilgrims in the world': the monk's relationship with the world in the Sermons of Columbanus
3.c. The pilgrimage of life

4. Monks out on the Sea in Search of Heaven: Navigatio sancti Brendani
4.a. The sea as desert
4.b. The Navigatio sancti Brendani as an allegory of the monastic quest for Heaven
4.c. The monastic journey

5. Geography of the Otherworld: Fís Adomnáin
5.a. The end of the voyage
5.b. Mapping the afterlife in the Fís Adomnáin
5.c. The destinations of the dead

6. Pilgrimage of Life: Some Conclusions




Source : Brepols