Holy Wells of Ireland: Sacred Realms and Popular Domains
Published by: Indiana University Press
Sales Date: 2023-09-26
Available: September 2023
Series: Irish Culture, Memory, Place
Page Count: 334 Pages
Illustrations: 140 color illus.
Dimensions: 8.50 x 11.10
334 Pages, 8.50 x 11.10 x 1.10 in, 140 color illus.
Not Yet Published
Encouraging both their use and protection, Holy Wells of Ireland delves into these irreplaceable resources of spiritual, archaeological, and historical significance. Reserves of localized spiritual practices, holy wells are also ecosystems in themselves and provide habitats for rare and culturally meaningful flora and fauna. The shift toward a "post-Catholic" Ireland has prompted renewed interest in holy wells as popular domains with organic faith traditions. Of the roughly 3,000 holy wells documented across Ireland, some attract international pilgrims and others are stewarded by a single family. Featuring 140 color images, this remarkable volume shares the transdisciplinary work of contributors who study these wells through the overlapping lenses of anthropology, archaeology, art history, biomedicine, folklore, geography, history, and hydrology. Braiding community perspectives with those of scholars across academia, Holy Wells of Ireland considers Irish holy wells as a resilient feature of ever-evolving Irish Christianity, as inspiration to other faith traditions, as places of pilgrimage and healing, and as threatened biocultural resources.
"Deeply rooted in the rich cultural and natural heritage of Ireland, Holy Wells of Ireland celebrates the sacred allure of our holy wells, shedding light on the spiritual, historical, archaeological and ecological significance of these cherished sites. Through the lenses of various disciplines, the contributors unveil the profound connections between faith, pilgrimage, and the preservation of our natural environment. With contributions from a diverse group of experts, this comprehensive exploration offers a multidisciplinary perspective on the significance of holy wells in Irish life and identity. From their spiritual and historical importance to their role in preserving biodiversity, Holy Wells of Ireland serves as a testament to the enduring legacy of holy wells and the urgent need to safeguard the vital elements of our precious biocultural resources."?Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland
"A deep dive into Ireland's divine waterholes, sacred springs, and mystical hydro-portals, this book will change how you regard and experience the landscape of Ireland. Like a powerful well, it bubbles with insights, theories, and fables about these watery realms and therapeutic refuges."?Manchán Magan, author of Listen to the Land Speak
"In pre-Christian times, sacred wells were considered to be a portal to the underworld and the trees that grew beside them a bridge between the earth and the heavens. This book is a magnificent homage to this ancient respect which lingers to this day."?Éanna Ní Lamhna, author of Our Wild World