*El (el_angelina) wrote in celticmyths,

Studies on Celtic Ethic


I'm a Philosophy student and I need to write a dissertation in order to graduate. This will hopefully be next year. The thing is... I want to link it to Celtic studies somehow.

For this reason, I chose to run a research on a few of the most discussed celtic topics and found very little on ethics.

I need to inform you I'm Brazilian, currently living in Ribeirao Preto (on the countryside). So when I say there´s little on Celtic ethics, that´s an understatement. There's actually virtually nothing on the subject published in Brazil - be a book, a magazine, or whatever.

Conclusion: that made up my mind.

Unfortunately, I´m either bad at researching online or apparently there´s not much to get started from.

Has anyone got suggestions on reading material on that specific area? I´d be mostly thankful.



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I recommend reading some of the works of Brendan Myers. His book The Other Side of Virtue addresses a pagan and heathen view of ethics, not specifically Celtic, but helpful nonetheless.

Maybe I could suggest wallacetaliesin´s blog, all in Portuguese (and with a translation of the Instructions of King Cormac!), and the Portuguese community gaeassail...

I'll be writing an academic article on this in the near future...which, alas, doesn't help you at the moment. However, when it does come out, I can let you know...
Unfortunately I think you fall down with the subject matter as the word "Celtic" is virtually a myth. Its always been a convenience word to wrap around a group of tribes, a culture that is partially described mythologically, a wrap-around for a modern re-working of a set of fragments of old traditions and even a wrap-around to create a genre of music and dance after Riverdance was released.

This is not to downplay what we all interpret and define differently as Celtic as I am in the "Celtic business". This brings a lot of joy and inspiration to myself and many others who embrace the "Celtic World". There is a lot called Celtic today that is on a cloud like the Jedi Faith yet has wonderful validity and sense of ethics to create a code for living today. However, like the Jedi Faith, one Celtic gathering is going to have a different code to another and each individual within a gathering amends that ethical code to their own life.

That's another downfall, the difference of vision, definition and interpretation of what is and what is not Celtic so I would say the existence of "Celtic Ethic" does not exist and those who write about it are trying to establish some order to create ethic, which is what has created cults, orders and religions in the past.

Maybe you could either write a dissertation on the attempts to create Celtic Ethic or look into the ethics of various tribes put into the Celtic genre such as the Gaels, Picts, Britons and even the Angles and compare their Ethics. If you go back deeper to Milesians, Formorians, Tuatha De Dannan etc. then you would be doing no better then the Gael scribes who had to guess content from the oral traditions stories fed to them by the individuals they interviewed.

If you insist in finding the Celtic Ethic you would have to rub out all of the interpretations to find out what's common with them all and be left with probably one single sentence that has to do with how we apply ourselves with guidance from a greater spirit on how to be good stewards of this earth so that the fertility circle keeps turning.

I think many of us through time have called that the "trinity" or the "triskele".
I found a lot in a book called Celtic Magic by D.J. Conway. I'm sure it's available online. It includes the day-to-day lives of the people who practiced the religion he's describing.
oh late arriver here. nut as velticways said. there is no such thing as celtic ethics per se. culturally the individual tribes were far too diverse to have a unifying ethos. but as a guide i could suggest doing a small bit of reading about 'brehon law' this is historically verifyable and although being written down first in the 7th century by irish monks its generally acknowledged to to be a much older oral tradition. ethics played a key role in these and its especially interesting in regards to womens rights