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The Secret Gospel ofr Ireland by James and Leo Behan

The Secret Gospel of Ireland is a wealth of information about how Catholic theology and philosophy combined with Ireland's early laws and love of learning led to the great ideas of Western civilisation.  For example, early Christianity resulted in the Law of Adomnan which prohibited violence against women, children, and churches during warfare. Catholic doctrine about penance and confession and Saint Augustine's ideas of heaven were just some of the important doctrines which set the world on fire, according to the authors.

 Irish monasteries played an essential role in preserving Greek and Roman learning, and the monks set up schools which resulted in the founding of the great universities.

The problem is that there is so much information in the book that it gets a bit tiring and difficult to absorb at times.  It's really necessary to buy it in paperback form, rather than an Ebook, if you're not used to Ebooks.  Otherwise, it becomes hard to absorb.

Behan and Behan imbue the book with lots of myths and legends.  I really enjoyed these more than the rest of the book, I think.  I especially liked the story of  St. Aquinas fighting off a prostitute.  When his wealthy family discovered that he wanted to join the Dominicans, they kidnapped him and took him to their castle in Italy.  His brothers sent a prostitute to his room to tempt it.  Thomas drove the woman from the room with a firebrand, and burned the sign of the cross in the wooden door to protect him from further temptation.

Later that night two angels promised him a life free from carnal desire and lust.

This is an excellent book to read if you want to learn about the importance of Catholic doctrine and Irish learning to the West.


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