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>Remembering that Brittany was a Celtic realm where the Goddess
>had still some residual influence...

Dear Brenda (and other contributors to this thread)

Having spent 15 months thinking and writing (sceptically) about the
so-called Celtic 'Age of Saints' and its antecedents, etc., I take the force
of what you are saying...

However, is it conceivable that the 'conhospitae' and their administration
of the chalice (and whatever other duties they might have performed) were
survivals of earlier Christian practice imported into the 'Celtic' West from
elsewhere in Christendom and then left stranded, as it were, by later
developments?

I should be interested to know what you think.

By the way, I have just been rereading the literature on Welsh 'portionary'
churches where as late as the twelfth or thirteenth century the prebends
might be held jointly and by inheritance by two or more lay persons, and
where the abbots so-called might be themselves members of the laity.

Graham

*****************************************************************
Dr Graham Jones
Stott Fellow
Prifysgol Cymru / University of Wales
Canolfan Uwchefrydiau Cymreig a Celtaidd / Centre for
     Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies
Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / National Library of Wales
Aberystwyth
Ceredigion SY23 3HH
Wales

Tel: +44 (0)1970 626717, ext. 18
Fax: +44 (0)1970 627066

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