Richard Kearney in Conversation with David Leonard

Richard Kearney in Conversation with David Leonard: Salvaging Celtic Spirituality at Halloween

President of the Boston Public Library David Leonard interviewed author and philosopher Richard Kearney on the cultural and spiritual importance of nature and natural medicine as a primal power, the notion of divinity as a force running through all living things (panentheism), the challenge facing Ireland and other Celtic nations to embrace secular modernity while salvaging what is still precious in their ancient heritage, the powerful role of Ireland's 'islands' in contemporary literature and film, and the origin of Halloween in the ancient Celtic Festival of Samhain. This event also featured contributions by Noirin Ni Rian (singer), Fanny Howe (poet), and Sheila Gallagher (artist).

Richard Kearney is an author of several books including his latest, Salvage (2023), a novel taking place in 1939 and young Maeve O’Sullivan and her family are among the last inhabitants of a windswept island off the south coast of Ireland. After her father drowns in a boating accident, Maeve finds herself the last inheritor of the old ways of healing. But the future beckons to Maeve with the arrival of Seamus, a handsome young medical student heading for Dublin. Maeve suddenly finds herself at a crossroads, torn between the pull of the past and the lure of the modern. Must she sacrifice one in order to accommodate the other?

This event took place at the Central Library on October 31, 2023. Event recordings can be viewed below.


Salvage/Samhain 2023 Videos

Interview Highlights

Full Event Recording

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