This book contains eleven essays, prefaced by a general introduction, on a set of related themes: the characteristic traits and diverse functions of holy men; the fashioning of saints out of a small minority of holy men and a number of other individuals of high social status but with more dubious spiritual credentials; the literary processes involved in the construction of hagiographical texts; the role of hagiography in the creation and diffusion of cults; and the worldly interests and other purposes which were served by hagiographical texts and the cults which they propagated. These themes are explored across a wide range of social and cultural milieux, extending from the late antique east Mediterranean through the early medieval Frankish world and Byzantium to Russia and Islam in the high middle ages. The work of Peter Brown, in particular his article, 'The Rise and Function of the Holy Man in Late Antiquity', first published in 1971, forms a constant point of reference, acknowledged by the contributors as having irradiated the whole field with fresh, provocative, and illuminating ideas.
`it is greatly to the credit of this collection of essays that so much is done to unpack the real contribution of the craft of hagiography to the experience of Christianity ... This comparative approach, explored through articles of uniformly high quality, provides a perspective on the history of sanctity of which Peter Brown would surely be well pleased.' Anthony Marett-Crosby, Royal Asiatic Society `analysing Brown's work ... the outstanding study by Avril Cameron reveals much of Brown's own intellectual journey ... does much to illuminate Brown's central insights, as well as offering a clear analysis of the development after Brown of the study of the sociology of sanctity.' Anthony Marett-Crosby, Royal Asiatic Society `this book is an excellent testimony to the worth of Peter Brown's work.' Michael Cahill, Journal of Early Christian Studies `despite their disagreements, these authors pay unanimous tribute to the stimulating and provocative quality of Peter Brown's scholarship. Both their criticism and their praise merit a broad audience.' John M.McCulloh, The Journal of Religion `who wants such stories told, and what are saints' lives for? This volume has greatly extended the range of answers.' Gillian Clark, Times Literary Supplement `The essays in this impressive collection revisit, or rediscover, the holy man, over a very wide geographical and chronological range.' Gillian Clark, Times Literary Supplement `Peter Brown's 'presence' actually becomes both more shadowy and more exemplary as the book's chapters move outward from the Mediterranean and advance in time, but the influence of his work is readily detectable throughout. In his introductory chapter James Howard-Johnson provides perceptive resumes ... of the book's eleven other chapters.' Dennis Trout, The Medieval Review `Peter Brown has jump-started two generations of new scholarship on the rise, roles, and functions of holy men and women and the cults devoted to the tombs and relics of the holy dead.' Dennis Trout, The Medieval Review `Through his extensive publications, Brown has largely redefined the field of hagiography ... A reassessment requires no justification and, after thirty years, is even timely. This volume is not just a tribute, however. Although admiration for Brown's accomplishments is evident in each of the contributions, virtually all of them balance this with measured but altogether telling criticism.' David A. Warner History `the scholarship represented by the individual contributions is of the highest quality ... and well worth the read.' David A. Warner, History
Number Of Pages: 312
Published: 1st February 2000
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.35 x 14.73 x 2.52
Weight (kg): 0.47