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A visual history of the remains of the saints and holy relics found in the subterranean passageways and tombs beneath Rome, featuring skeletons dressed in elaborate silks and lace, wigs, crowns jewels and armor. 10,000 first printing.
The saints form a huge part of our world's history, on both a religious and secular level. Their shrines have attracted millions of pilgrims throughout the centuries, and their relics continue to be venerated today. In North America even atheists and non-Christians know to bury a statue of St Joseph in their yards for a quick sale of their property. In England there is a tradition that the weather on St Swithun's feast day (the 15th July) will continue for forty more days. On the 14th of February the love-struck and lonely-hearted of the world declare their crushes with a card or gifts to the object of their affections, signing in the name of St Valentine. But how did people become saints? What role does sainthood continue to play in our institutional beliefs and traditions? And how does their significance in the Christian ideology translate into other cultures and belief systems? Simon Yarrow introduces the origins of sainthood and sanctity, and examines the part the saints have played in our society and culture, from the ancient world to the modern day. Exploring the treatment of saints in literature and art, and the way they have been used in politics, he analyses them as examples of idealised male and female heroism. He concludes by considering the similarities between Christian Saints and holy figures in other religious cultures, including Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism.
The idea of saints and sainthood are familiar to all, irrelevant of religious faith. In this Very Short Introduction, Simon Yarrow looks at the origins, ideas, and definitions of sainthood, sanctity, and saints in the early Church, tracing their development in history and explaining the social roles saints played in the ancient, medieval, and modern worlds. Along the way Yarrow considers the treatment of saints as objects of literary and artistic expression and interpretation, and as examples of idealised male and female heroism, and compares Christian saints and holy figures to venerated figures in other religious cultures, including Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. He concludes by considering the experiences of devotees to saints, and looking at how saints continue to be a powerful presence in our modern world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
This book examines the place of 'saints' and sanctity in a self-consciously modern age, and argues that Protestants were as fascinated by such figures as Catholics were. Long after the mechanisms of canonisation had disappeared, people continued not only to engage with the saints of the past but continued to make their own saints in all but name. Just as strikingly, it claims that devotional practices and language were not the property of orthodox Christians alone. Making and remaking saints in the nineteenth-century Britain explores for the first time how sainthood remained significant in this period both as an enduring institution and as a metaphor that could be transposed into unexpected contexts. Each of the chapters in this volume focuses on the reception of a particular individual or group, and together they will appeal to not only historians of religion, but those concerned with material culture, the cult of history, and with the reshaping of British identities in an age of faith and doubt.

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