Rewriting Holiness
Title Details

338 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

9 colour. Illustrations

Series: Kings College London Medieval Studies (KCLMS)

Imprint: King's College London CLAMS

Rewriting Holiness

Reconfiguring Vitae, Re-signifying Cults

Edited by Madeleine Gray

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  • Reviews
Ranging from Ireland to India and from the first to the third millennium, this collection brings together essays written from the perspective of gender, politics and national and cultural identities as well as the sociology of religion.
Saints are more than distant figures from legends and wall paintings. Their lives and cults have been rewritten over and over again to suit changing cultural preconceptions and social and political agendas. The obscure Cambro-Breton saint Armel became a badge of loyalty to the Tudor dynasty; Eastern European countries have competed to lay claim to Cyril and Methodius, founding fathers of eastern Christianity; the Indian mystic and poet Kabir came from a Muslim background but was appropriated by both Hindus and Sikhs. And perhaps most bizarrely, right-wing groups in England march under the badge of the Middle Eastern saint George.
While these ideas are familiar to historians of"popular" religion (that slippery term) in western Europe, they have a clear relevance to the study of religion in other continents and other faith traditions. Ranging from Ireland to India and from the first to the third millennium, this collection brings together essays written from the perspective of gender, politics and national and cultural identities as well as the sociology of religion. The main thrust is medieval and Christian but it also considers more recent developments in Sikh, Hindu and Muslim cults and in the heritagisation of religion. A substantial introduction offers an overview of the literature, sets out theoretical frameworks and suggests further avenues for exploration.

Madeleine Gray is Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of South Wales.

Contributors: Diane Auslander, Slavia Barlieva, Karen Casebier, Adam Coward, James M. Hegarty, Kate Helsen, Andrew Hughes, John R. Black, Madeleine Gray, Svitlana Kobets, Samantha Riches, Anne Schuchman, Jayita Sinha,
"Each essay clearly adds to the research in its own field, and altogether make for a fascinating insight into the changing roles of saints in society." JOURNAL OF RELIGIOUS HISTORY, LITERATURE AND CULTURE
"[T]he overall message from all the articles is how universal is the impetus to rewrite sanctity, to reimagine the holy men and women of the past as fitting one's contemporary vision of what a holy person should be like, so that whatever is holy now can be conceived as following in a grand old tradition." SPECULUM
"Reveal[s] the nature and impact of sainthood to be more complicated and far-reaching that has ever been acknowledged." TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

Hardcover

9780953983896

June 2017

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Title Details

338 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

9 colour. Illustrations

Series: Kings College London Medieval Studies (KCLMS)

Imprint: King's College London CLAMS