John Philip Newell
John Philip Newell (born 1953) is a Celtic teacher and author of spirituality who calls the modern world to reawaken to the sacredness of the earth and every human being.
Canadian by birth, and a citizen also of Scotland, he resides with his family in Edinburgh and works on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2016 he began the School of Earth and Soul (originally called the School of Celtic Consciousness) and teaches regularly in the United States and Canada as well as leading international pilgrimage weeks on Iona in the Western Isles of Scotland.
His PhD is from the University of Edinburgh and he has authored over fifteen books, including A New Ancient Harmony, Sounds of the Eternal, The Rebirthing of God, and his latest major publication Sacred Earth Sacred Soul.
Newell speaks of himself as ‘a wandering teacher’ following the ancient path of many lone teachers before him in the Celtic world, ‘wandering Scots’ (or scotus vagans as they were called) seeking the wellbeing of the world. He has been described as having ‘the heart of a Celtic bard and the mind of a Celtic scholar’, combining in his teachings the poetic and the intellectual, the head as well as the heart, and spiritual awareness as well as political and ecological concern. His writings have been translated into seven languages. In 2020 he relinquished his ordination as a minister of the Church of Scotland as no longer reflecting the heart of his belief in the sacredness of the earth and every human being. He continues, however, to see himself as ‘a grateful son of the Christian household’ seeking to be in relationship with the wisdom of humanity’s other great spiritual traditions.