Pop Culture, Church History, and St. Patrick

st.patricksday

While St. Patrick’s Day is rooted in religion, today’s pop culture has surrounded the holiday with drinking, luck, and Irish patriotism. This attempted marriage of religion and culture shows up most clearly in the contradictory definitions of St. Patrick’s Day’s most popular symbol: the shamrock.

On one extreme, the four-leaf clover has been commercialized to simply represent good luck. On the other extreme, however, many scholars argue that St. Patrick himself deemed the four-leaf clover a religious symbol, with the three leaves representing the Holy Trinity (one for the Father, one for the Son, and one for the Holy Spirit) and the final leaf representing God’s grace. Between these two extremes lies a murky middle ground, where some argue that each leaf stands for a separate idea: one leaf for hope, one for faith, one for love, and the fourth for luck.

With this strange union of pop culture and religious history, the impact of St. Patrick on church history is often neglected—even on the day that was established because of the saint and his work.

So Logos is offering up to 40% off resources to help you delve deeper into church history and the work of St. Patrick. These resources will examine questions such as: Is St. Patrick responsible for single-handedly converting Ireland to Christianity? Was he the only true apostle of an embattled, crumbling empire? In short, these resources will help you learn why St. Patrick’s Day exists at all.

The Logos St. Patrick’s Day Sale will run from March 15 through March 17 only.

Save today on church history works:

St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland (2 vols.)

Regularly: $34.95

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St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland presents two volumes on the life and works of St. Patrick: The Confession of St. Patrick and The Life and Writings of St. Patrick. These valuable volumes will especially interest students, professors, and those wanting to know more about St. Patrick and the history of Christianity in Ireland.

Christianity in the British Isles Collection (6 vols.)

Regularly: $119.95

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The Christianity in the British Isles Collection offers a comprehensive look at Christianity’s relationship with Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and England. The six volumes cover a variety of fascinating topics, including the history of Anglicanism, the little-known Free Church of England, the parallel Reformation experiences of the British Isles, and the outlook for the Church of England in a modern United Kingdom of many faiths.

The Reformation in Britain and Ireland: An Introduction

Regularly: $39.95

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The Reformation in Britain and Ireland is a new and wide-ranging introduction to the Reformation throughout the British Isles. Full treatment is given to the fascinating and often very different but interrelated experiences in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.

Christian History & Biography Magazine (issues 1–99)

Regularly: $149.95

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Since 1982, this quarterly magazine has examined the events and personalities that laid the foundations of modern Christianity, covering subjects ranging from Martin Luther to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, from the Crusades to modern Christian-Muslim relations. In this massive collection of every issue of Christian History & Biography since 1982, nearly 2,000 articles by hundreds of authors cover every aspect of church history from the early church to the present day.

Lion Histories Series (10 vols.)

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Lion Histories is a major new series aimed at those seeking accessible introductions to key periods, people and themes in Christian history. These histories are excellent resources for pastors, students, Bible-study leaders and Sunday school teachers to gain an understanding of these important events and people in Christian history. This series covers the world of Jesus and Paul, and shows how Christianity expanded throughout the Roman Empire and beyond.

The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, rev. ed.

Regularly: $150

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The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, since its first appearance in 1957, has established itself as the indispensable one-volume reference work on the church’s every aspect. This revised edition, published in 2005, builds on the unrivalled reputation of the previous editions. Revised and updated, it reflects changes in academic opinion and church organization.

Exploring Church History

Regularly: $11.99

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James Eckman walks you through the church’s past from Pentecost to the present. This basic, chronological, introduction emphasizes the development of the church and how it came to a consensus on what the Scriptures taught. Through it all, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the complexities and richness of your faith and its splendid heritage.

Additionally, St. Patrick: The Man and His Work is now available on Pre-Pub and Classic Studies on St. Patrick is now available on Community Pricing.

Comments

  1. David Breen says:

    Please don’t confuse the clover – three or four leaf versions – with the shamrock which is a different plant completely with much smaller leaves. It is the 3 leafed shamrock – not the clover – that Patrick is reputed to have used to explain the Trinity. The tradition of the 4 leafed clover as a good luck symbol is something altogether different.