Iona lectures to shed new light on Columba
3 June 2014
Historic Scotland and the Iona Community have partnered to produce a week-long residential course at Iona Abbey. Open to all and taking place from 7-13 June, the course will see a range of leading historians and archaeologists sharing some of the latest insights into the early church in Scotland.
The course coincides with the first anniversary of the completion of the Iona Abbey redisplay project, which tells visitors the extraordinary story of Columba and the centuries of religious life on Iona. A new Iona Abbey guide book, which is now on sale at the abbey, will also tell the story in greater detail than ever before.
To mark the anniversary, St Columba Day lectures will be given by internationally renowned academics. These will be open to the public on Monday 9 June at 10am in the Iona Village Hall. Tickets are £10 or are free to island residents who produce proof of address. They can be purchased on the door or at the Iona Community's Welcome Centre and Shop.
Prof Eamonn O' Carragain of University College Cork will speak about the complex designs of the high crosses and how these were originally intended to be read with the movement of the sun, while Prof Tom O'Loughlin of the University of Nottingham will explain how the Iona monks created their own idea of the holy places of Jerusalem in their own monastery at Iona in the 600s, as an aid to their worship.
Peter Yeoman, Principal Heritage Researcher at Historic Scotland said: “Columba arrived on Iona in 563, introducing Christianity and literacy to large parts of Scotland for the first time. Today Historic Scotland welcomes around 60,000 visitors to Iona Abbey each year, and the new displays and audio guide help to bring the history of the place alive, giving visitors a better understanding of the contribution that Columba and the generations of monks who came after him made to European civilisation.”
To book a place on the residential course at Iona Abbey, visit www.iona.org.uk
Notes for editors:
- Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.
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