Brendan's Return



Brendan's Return Voyage: A New American Dream: Indigenous, Post-Colonial, and Celtic Theology


Ray Simpson

ISBN 9781725292093


Available in the USA direct from Wipf and stock

In UK from Blackwells or Amazon and in Australia


The first part of this book traces the Creator’s imprints in mainly North American indigenous peoples.  The second part pinpoints two fault-lines in American (and Western) ‘Christian’ society – the twin towers of empire building and separation. Much empire building was justified by a narrative that the colonial settlers were akin to the biblical pioneers of the Promised Land. This was their Manifest Destiny, and White Supremacy was thinly disguised in the name of Evangelical Mission.  Western theology and society has split body from spirit, economics from creation, and politics from communal values. However, there are also the Creator’s imprints in western society such as the equal dignity of all before God, and the duty to work hard and improve life.  The third part explores the nearest equivalent Euro-Americans have to indigenous forebears, the Celtic peoples who fell in love with Christ in a way that did not belittle their indigenous insights, and established ‘colonies of heaven’ on earth.  Saints Patrick and Brigid in Ireland and Saint Aidan and his Anglo-Saxon recruit Saint Hilda in Britain  provide key examples. It draws out key threads we may weave together that can shape us today.   


Part Four examines historical elements and re-tells the myth (which Will Toms, who works among the Hopi people, whom I met at the USA Community of Aidan and Hilda  Retreat  at Albuquerque told me was circulating quite widely)  that Saint Brendan sailed 4,000 miles to Mississippi to evangelise people ignorant of God, and to create a second Eden. His team were shown such gentle  hospitality by their Indian hosts that they realised Jesus was already there. So humbly, they sailed all the way back to Ireland!  It explores Will Toms vision that the time has come for new Brendans to voyage through every part of USA.  It tells how CAH relates the taking of vows to the voyages of Brendan, and calls for an uprising of new monastic spirituality that draws together the spirituality of Indigenous peoples with that of black and white people who share the CAH Ten Waymarks. The kernel of these are made accessible.


The book’s climax is a call for us all to humbly voyage together  to restore the human race (Adam) and creation (Eden), finding deep forgiveness, fresh vision,  drawing inspiration from The Great Spirit.





Posted at 08:12am on 29th July 2021
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