Lindisfarne

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Lindisfarne

New Age educational community in Southampton, New York, founded in 1973 by William Irwin Thompson, author of Passages about Earth: An Exploration of the New Planetary Culture (1974). Lindisfarne takes its name from the English monastery founded by St. Aidan on Holy Island in Northumberland in 635 C.E.

The island is now owned by Robin Henderson who keeps racing pigeons, and the monastery is a ruin, but Thompson was impressed by the symbolic associations of the place, which he described in Passages about Earth. He regarded Lindisfarne as typifying a historic clash between esoteric Christianity and ecclesiastical Christianity, between religious experience and religious authority.

A visit to the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland helped to develop Thompson's concept of a new "planetary culture" involving a synthesis of science, art, and spiritual awareness. He founded the Lindisfarne Association as an educational community "in which people of all ages could work and study together in new forms of growth and transformation." Spiritual self-discipline is regarded as a basis for artistic and cultural learning, and Lindisfarne offers seminars in science and the humanities for students rooted in daily meditational practice. All this has much in common with contemporary outlooks loosely labeled New Age.

Sources:

Thompson, William Irwin. The American Replacement of Nature: The Everyday Acts and Outrageous Evolution of Economic Life. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1991.

. Passages about Earth: An Exploration of the New Planetary Culture. New York: Harper & Row, 1974.

. Reimagination of the World: A Critique of the New Age, Science, and Popular Culture. Santa Fe, N.Mex.: Bear, 1991.

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Lindisfarne (Holy Island) is a small island off the coast of Northumbria south of Berwick-on-Tweed. It is connected to the mainland by a causeway which is inaccessible at high tide. The island is home to several species of birds, who find the bleak landscape ideal for breeding. It was the seat of sixteen bishops from 635 to 883, the most famous of them being St Aidan, who was brought from Iona by Oswald to Christianize the north, and later St Cuthbert, who took charge of the Romanized see after the Synod of Whitby. After the island had been ravaged in the 8th and 9th cents. by Vikings, the religious community removed to seek a new sanctuary, eventually settling at Durham. The priory was rebuilt c.1070 but was abandoned c.1541 and some of the stones used on the construction of the fort, rebuilt by Lutyens as a small castle in the 1900s. The island has retained its religious significance and has been the site of many pilgrimages through the centuries.

Sandra M. Dunkin

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Lindisfarne a small island off the coast of Northumberland, north of the Farne Islands. Linked to the mainland by a causeway exposed only at low tide, it is the site of a church and monastery founded by St Aidan in 635, which was a missionary centre of the Celtic Church. The sacking of Lindisfarne at the end of the 8th century was one of the first indicators of the coming Viking raids on Britain.
Lindisfarne Gospels a manuscript of the four gospels which was probably written to mark the canonization of St Cuthbert in 698; the illuminations and decorative capitals show elements of Celtic and Byzantine design.

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Lindisfarne. ‘Holy Island’, off the coast of Northumberland in England. It became a missionary centre and episcopal see under St Aidan in 635. The Latin manuscript known as the Lindisfarne Gospels was written and decorated c.698–9 by Eadfrith (afterwards bishop of Lindisfarne) ‘in honour of St Cuthbert’.

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Lindisfarne, England: see Holy Island.