Rewriting Holiness: Reconfiguring Vitae, Re-signifying Cults

Rewriting Holiness: Reconfiguring Vitae, Re-signifying Cults

by Madeleine Gray (Editor)


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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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780953983896
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
Publication date: 06/16/2017
Series: Kings College London Medieval Studies (KCLMS) Series , #25
Pages: 338
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Notes on Contributors / Preface & Acknowledgements x

Introduction Madeleine Gray 1

Rewriting Monasticism

1 Holy Foolishness and its Hellenistic Models: Serapion the Holy Fool or Serapion the Cynic? Svitlana Kobets 31

2 Re-modelling Monastic Holiness: Saints' Lives and Tensions in Monasticism in Early Medieval England John R. Black 51

3 Singing a New Song: Re-writing Texts and Chants in the Middle Ages Kate Helsen Andrew Hughest 73


4 Saints on the Edge: Reconfiguring Sanctity in the Welsh March Madeleine Gray 89

5 Immaculate Deceptions: Virginity and Society in La Vie de Sainte Euphrosine and Rutebeuf's Frère Denise Karen Casebier 109

Translating Cultural & Religious Identities

6 From Darerca to Modwenne: Rewriting Female Asceticim in the Lives of an Irish Saint Diane Peters Auslander 133

7 Revisioning Umiliana: Rewriting Lay Piety after the Council of Trent Anne M. Schuchman 157

8 Hinduizing and Brahminizing Kabir: Muffling the Lion's Roar Jayita Sinha 183

9 The Life and Times of the 'Old Prophet': Saint-like Attributes of the Rev. Edmund Jones (1702-93) Adam Coward 205

Appropriating Political & National Identities

10 The Cult of Saints Cyril and Methodius: The Phenomenon of Shared Identity in the Slavic World Slavia Barlieva 229

11 Politics, Power and Piety: The Cult of St Armel in Early Tudor England and Wales Madeleine Gray 243

12 Hagiography, Religious Identity and the Historical Imagination in Eighteenth-Century Punjab: Exploring Sikh Narratives of the Life of Guru Nanak James M. Hegarty 263

13 An English Patron for English People: The Reinvention of St George Samantha Riches 283

Index 307

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