IN SEARCH OF SACRED PLACES: Looking for Wisdom on Celtic Holy Islands

Daniel Taylor, Author . Bog Walk Press $19.95 (171p) ISBN 978-0-9706511-1-2

Taylor, a literature professor from Minnesota's Bethel University, meant to go to London to study Sir Thomas More, but first he followed a friend's recommendation to visit the Iona community in Scotland. Then, having seen one ancient sacred site, he wanted to see others. Over the next six weeks, he gave himself a whirlwind tour of Lindisfarne, Norwich and Durham in England; St. Brigid's well, Glendalough and Skellig Michael in Ireland; St. David's in Wales and various museums in Dublin and London—all either pilgrimage sites or sources of information about Celtic Christians. As he describes what he saw, he ruminates on the nature of holiness, bristles at the easy faith of modern Christians and relentlessly examines his own mixed feelings. Taylor, author of The Myth of Certainty, does not consider himself a model pilgrim: "I go to Iona and Lindisfarne and Skellig Michael to get a tangible taste of an intangible and fearful reality. But I want only a taste." Nevertheless, he feels changed by his experience: "I am working my way toward seeing all of life as simply different manifestations of worship, and taking these saints as my guide." Though too short on detail to be a pilgrim's only guide, Taylor's book provokes the kinds of reflections that make pilgrimages worthwhile. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 01/17/2005
Release date: 02/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
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