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By: Tim Hetherington

The Life and Loves of Saint Columba

Pages: 266 Ratings: 5.0
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‘Years ago, I was captivated by a magical day spent on Iona and dreamed of writing a book on St Columba, an inspirational man far ahead of his time, who challenged the institutions of church and state, and created a monastery that became a beacon of spiritual and artistic light during the dark ages.’  Tim Hetherington
In this bold take on the life of Saint Columba – the founder of the religious community on the Scottish island of Iona and one of Ireland’s three patron saints – Tim Hetherington eschews the pieties of a conventional hagiography in favour of a more down-to-earth view of the saint and the religious, social and political world of Ireland and Scotland in the sixth century AD. Originally named Crimthann – the fox – and a member of the powerful Ui Neill Clan, Columba’s remarkable gifts of intellect and character were quickly noted and nourished by the leading clerics of the day. But his impetuous nature and family loyalties led him to involvement in political intrigues and conflicts.
Denounced by Church leaders, Columba left Ireland with twelve monks and founded the monastery on Iona. Over the years he established the Christian Church throughout Dalriada, the Irish kingdom in Western Scotland, and then in the rest of Scotland ruled by King Bridei of the Picts. Columba aligned himself closely, perhaps too closely, with the Dalriadan royal family. But the sheer force of his personality and his dedication to spreading Christianity by written works as well as by word of mouth ensured his special place in history.
Masterfully blending extensive research and novelistic imagination, The Life and Loves of Saint Columba is full of fascinating insights into the nature of faith and spirituality. This is a must-read for anyone interested in Christianity or Irish history.

I spent my early years in the Lake District. After attending Sussex University I worked in the civil service. Subsequently, I became a Social Worker and worked in child protection, twenty years in the UK and twenty more in Australia. After retiring, I moved to Thailand.
I’m blessed with a wonderful partner and three amazing children who enjoy great success despite their erratic and unpredictable father.
Years ago, I was captivated by a magical day spent on Iona and dreamed of writing a book on St Columba, an inspirational man far ahead of his time, who challenged the institutions of church and state, and created a monastery that became a beacon of spiritual and artistic light during the dark ages.
It took fifty years to realise my own dream. My aim was simply to describe his impressive life and cut back on the miracles and prophecies which overwhelm previous histories. Then I stumbled across evidence suggesting he had a secret relationship with a princess and fathered a son who later became a monk like himself.
Thus my story became the life and loves of St Columba.
Tim Hetherington

Customer Reviews
5.0
1 reviews
1 reviews
  • Wim van den Toorn

    This book was very well researched and the author stays as close as possible to the historic facts and figures while testing his own limits to tell a fascinating story. Everyone interested in the history of Ireland and Scotland, or the early roots of Christianity, should read this book.

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