The Voice of the Eagle: The Heart of Celtic Christianity : John Scotus Eriugena's Homily on the Prologue to the Gospel of St. John

Front Cover
SteinerBooks, 2000 - 335 pages
Includes John Scotus Eriugena's "Homily on the Prologue to the Gospel of St. John"

John Scotus Eriugena was born and raised in Ireland during the early ninth century. Neither monk nor priest but a "holy sage," he carried to France the flower of Celtic Christianity. His homily, The Voice of the Eagle, is a jewel of lyrical mysticism, theology, and cosmology, containing the essence of Celtic Christian wisdom. He meditates on the meaning and purpose of creation as revealed by the Word made flesh, distilling into twenty-three short chapters a uniquely Celtic, non-dualistic fusion of Christianity, Platonism, and ancient Irish wisdom.

The translator's "Reflections" make up the second half of this book and attempt to unfold some of the life-giving meaning implicit in Eriugena's luminous sentences. Inspired both by a personal search for a living Christianity and by a sense of the continuity of Western culture, these "Reflections" offer a contemporary, meditative encounter with the Word, or Logos, as mediated by both St. John's Prologue and Eriugena's Celtic homily. This favorite of Celtic Christianity, unavailable for several years, has been revised and includes a new foreword by Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul and The Soul of Sex.

"Christopher Bamford has written a wonderful book. It combines a rigor of scholarship with a lyrical unveiling of how this wonderful text of Eriugena's can resonate with the hungers and discoveries of our times. It deserves a wide readership. Its lucid depths enrich the mind and awaken the heart to the grandeur of light where the eternal shines." -- John O'Donohue is the author of Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

"The book has been made with broad scholarship, with deep understanding and with love, and will be not quickly used up; one returns to it again and again. It will be cherished by anyone who is thirsty for the water of wisdom that has flowed so abundantly from the spring of Christ." -- Bruno Barnhart is the author of Second Simplicity: The Inner Shape of Christianity

"Eriugena is increasingly recognized as one of the most penetrating spiritual masters of the Christian tradition. The Homily he wrote on the Prologue to the Gospel of St John is the clearest summary of his thought about the role of the Divine Logos in cosmology and anthropology and provides the best introduction to his thought. In The Voice of the Eagle, Christopher Bamford presents an accurate and readable translation of this classic of Christian thought and suggests valuable comments about its meaning. --Bernard McGinn, Naomi Shenstone Donnelly Professor, University of Chicago Author of The Presence of God: A History of Western Mysticism

"The Prologue of St John's Gospel is so important that it was once read at the conclusion of every Catholic Mass. Eriugena's Homily on it, here translated, is a masterpiece. More accessible than his larger works, it helps to plunge us into the depths of the Word revealed in the Gospel. Christopher Bamford's extended and erudite commentary draws on the great contemplative writers of the Christian tradition of East and West to produce a text whose impact and importance grows the more it is read. The recovery of the Christian tradition, as he writes, "is a task of intuition, interpretation, and meditation."For many readers, that recovery will be nourished and assisted by this fascinating book." --Stratford Caldecott, Center for Faith and Culture, Westminster College, Oxford

"... a precious gift for all of us who need to be touched anew by the truth of the Christian teaching" --Jacob Needleman, author of A Little Book on Love and Money and the Meaning of Life

"... a profound and transformative experience." - John Carey, former editor of Gnosis Magazine

"Eriugena's Christian Neoplationism, untrammeled by the problems of later medieval thought, breathes with a fr

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Contents

FOREWORD
9
Introduction to the Second Edition
19
Introduction to the First Edition
53
The Prologue to the Gospel of St John
65
Oblessed John
71
from
94
The Word made flesh
108
The Ear of the Word
128
Feeding the Five Thousand
201
Faith Knowledge
206
Deification or Theosis
209
The Mystery of the Holy Trinity
217
Immaculate Conception
223
PART TWO The Word HOMILY chapters VIXII
227
Father Son
229
With God
233

Animus Anima
130
The Eagle Again
134
The Call of the Eagle
137
You wish to see? Then listen
141
Making the Eagle Fly
142
Visible Invisible
144
I1 Innermost Theology
150
Theophany
152
Logos
157
The Grail of the Word
162
The Word
166
Grants Gifts
168
Mystery
173
The Good
176
Peter John
178
Faith
179
The Virgin Heart
182
A Ladder of Grace
184
Metanoia
186
Truth
188
The Stations of Faith
192
The Tomb
194
Nature Scripture
198
Sacrifice
236
Coinherence
239
Creation
241
Creator Creation
245
Creation as Theophany
248
Fall
251
Life
261
Jesus the Imagination
268
On Light
272
Our Mysterious Nature
273
True Darkness
282
PART THREE The World HOMILY chapters XIVXXIII
287
Greeks and Jews
289
The Baptist
294
Witness
307
True Light
310
Bees of the Invisible
315
God Is Love
320
Last Words
323
BIBLIOGRAPHY
325
Editions Translations
327
Background Reading
329
Copyright

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Popular passages

Page 292 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ : according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love : having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved...
Page 321 - For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
Page 66 - John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me, is preferred before me ; for he was before me.
Page 160 - That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one...
Page 290 - For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom ; but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness ; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
Page 65 - There was a man sent from God, whose name was John ; the same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
Page 292 - Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself; That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him...
Page 294 - For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying; The voice of one crying in the wilderness ; Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Page 51 - Gainst the wall he sets his eye Full and fierce and sharp and sly; 'Gainst the wall of knowledge I All my little wisdom try.

About the author (2000)

John Scotus Eriugena (ca.800-ca.877) was born and educated in Ireland. He moved to France around 845 at the invitation of Carolingian King Charles the Bald. He probably never left France, it is unclear whether he was a cleric or a lay person; the general conditions of the time make it likely that he was a cleric and perhaps a monk. Eriugena was an Irish-Catholic Neoplatonist philosopher, theologian, and poet and wrote several works. He is best known today for his works De divisione naturae (The division of nature) and Periphyseon, which has been called the final achievement of ancient philosophy, a work that synthesizes the philosophical accomplishments of fifteen centuries. Eriugena's work is distinguished by the freedom of his speculation and the boldness with which he worked out his logical or dialectical system of the universe.

Christopher Bamford is Editor in Chief for SteinerBooks and its imprints. A Fellow of the Lindisfarne Association, he has lectured, taught, and written widely on Western spiritual and esoteric traditions.

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