Church–State Right-Ordering: St. Columba’s Early Medieval Example in the Insular Isles

McCann, Kim

The Eastern Christian teachings of the Desert Fathers heavily influenced the development of the pre-schismatic Church of the Insular Isles, an area that today comprises Ireland, England, Wales, and Scotland. The relationship between Church and State was influenced as well by principles rooted in the early Irish legal concept of sóerad, the freeing and ennobling of the Church by State powers. Unlike much of the early Christian world, over which Rome had imperial sovereignty, Ireland – where the initial Christianization of the Insular Isles took root – was never invaded or governed by Roman forces. As a result, the dark and medieval ages in Ireland saw a melding of pre-Christian Irish legal precepts with an acceptance of Christianity by the ruling powers, which were dynastic clans more akin to tribal governance than the Roman political system.



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Power and Authority in the Eastern Christian Experience: Papers of the Sophia Institute Academic Conference, New York, December 2010
Theotokos Press

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Academic Units
Sophia Institute
Sophia Institute Studies in Orthodox Theology, 3
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February 7, 2013