Medieval Saints: A Reader (Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures)

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9781442601017: Medieval Saints: A Reader (Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures)

This text includes a number of writings by or about women saints, as well as a large percentage of material which, prior to this book, was not available in English.

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About the Author:

Mary-Ann Stouck is a retired Associate Professor of Humanities at Simon Fraser University. She is the editor of Medieval Saints: A Reader (University of Toronto Press, 1999) and the author of a variety of essays and studies on saints' lives and Middle English literature.

Review:

Medieval Saints is a collection remarkable both for its range and for its respect for the richness of the individual texts. Through it the reader will be able to trace the origin, the diffusion and the many layers of meaning of a central element of Christianity for a period of well over a millennium. We begin with the martyrs, with vivid tales of public cruelty in the cities of the Greco-Roman Mediterranean and with holy men and women in a recognizably Roman world in its last days. We end, often with the same figures, transformed over time, so as to become part of the Christian 'folklore' of all Western Europe. Gathered from the vernacular languages of Europe, as well as from Latin texts, this collection does justice to the many layers to which the cult of the saints penetrated, and to the constantly changing views of the human person implied in the idea of Christian sanctity. To read it is to re-live an entire era in the imaginative history of Christian Europe.

(Peter Brown, Princeton University)

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