Celtic Christianity part 5 – The Book of Kells

Christ Enthroned Book of Kells
Christ Enthroned from the Book of Kells

As I mentioned in a previous blog, the spread of Christianity in Britain, Ireland, and Scotland was aided by the Christians’ willingness to incorporate Celtic images and symbols into Christian worship and art. One of the most famous examples of this practice is the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript of the gospels which was created around the year 800, probably in an Irish monastery.

The artwork is complex with figures of humans, animals, and mythical beasts along with Celtic knots and other interlacing patterns in vibrant colors. The manuscript is named for the Abbey of Kells where it resided for centuries. It is now on permanent display at the Trinity College Library in Dublin. It can also be viewed online on Trinity College Library’s Digital Collections.

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