There is an ongoing interest in all things Celtic, even among people who have no roots in Ireland, Scotland, or other Celtic lands. Bookstores have shelves lined with Celtic treasures, the songs of Celtic Woman have found their way into mainstream radio, and the Claddagh adorns many a non-Irish hand. Each year, thousands of tourists flock to Celtic sites, whether the castles of Scotland, the pubs of Ireland, or the Isle of Iona.
In this introductory course, we will study the legends, literature, traditions, and arts of the early Celtic peoples. We will explore the history of their religions, from the druidism of the pre-Christian era, through the Christianity of ancient and medieval Ireland and Britain, to the modern movements that have tried to recapture the spirit of the ancient Celts.