Discovering and sharing the history of Scotland’s island communities

Island Conversion

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The Transition of a Gaelic Poet from Sceptic to Believer

by Myles and Margaret Campbell

Religion, and a belief in supernatural forces more generally, have played and still play a fundamentally important part in the culture of the Hebrides. Indeed, many would say that this is one of the dimensions which make island life and history distinctive. Certainly, Christianity has had a huge impact on Gaelic communities in the islands, and the views of islanders on religious matters, whether in the Catholic areas or in the Presbyterian areas, have for at least two centuries been an important and sometimes discordant influence on religious and intellectual development in Scotland.

The story told by Myles and Margaret Campbell in this book is inextricably linked to their island upbringing and cultural background. It is a very personal story, and one which honestly seeks to understand and interpret the events they have experienced. Myles Campbell is one of Scotland's leading Gaelic poets, and the text is supplemented by many of his beautiful poems, in Gaelic and English.

"This book offers three for the price of one: the spiritual autobiographies of both a Gaelic poet and his wife, interspersed with learned excursions into the scientific findings and philosophical theories which so deeply colour life in today's western world. It is a story of fulfilled dreams and divine coincidences, interrupted by encounters with Jung and echoes of the Big Bang. Very human at its heart, and tinged with mysticism, yet unmistakeably reflecting its own time; and a fascinating reminder that scientist, poet and religious seeker can happily inhabit one and same mind."  Professor Donald MacLeod


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