1st Edition

Counter-Reformation Sanctity in Global and Material Perspective

Edited By Ruth Sargent Noyes Copyright 2025
    264 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores the making of saints’ cults in the early modern world from an interdisciplinary perspective, considering the entangled roles of materiality and globalization processes. It brings together work across diverse media, objects, and materials, as well as communities, cultures, and geographies to reframe a more synoptic, materials-centric, and comparative history of the making and remaking of saints’ cults, with special focus on the long Counter-Reformation. The contributions engage with dynamics of local and universal and draw attention to the vital role of textual, visual, and material hagiographies in the creation and promotion of saints’ and would-be saints’ cults. The book fosters novel conceptualizations and cross-pollination of ideas across traditions, regions, and disciplines, and expands hagiography’s horizons by reconsidering canonical saintly figures and reframing lesser-known cults of saints and would-be saints.

    The book will be of interest to scholars of religious and early modern history as well as art history and visual and material studies.

    Introduction: Early Modern Counter-Reformation Sanctity in Global and Material Perspective

    Ruth Sargent Noyes

    1. Andrea Sacchi’s Three Magdalenes: Female Sexuality and Sacrifice in the Global Early Modern Church

    Rachel Miller

    2. Un mistico Armellino. Saints, furs, and slaves between the Lithuanian and Tuscan Grand Duchies

    Ruth Sargent Noyes

    3. Like Fire and Earth: Cremation and the Christian Cult of Relics in the Sixteenth Century

    Urte Krass

    4. Forming the local cult from the religious center: Osanna da Cattaro and Serafino Razzi

    Valentina Živković

    5. Sancti Christi Martyris Justini in Puebla de los Ángeles (Mexico) and the Cult of Catacomb Relics Between Rome and the Americas

    Montserrat Andrea Báez Hernández

    6. A Piercing Agony: Guercino’s Saint Sebastian Succored of 1619

    Veronica White

    7. The Multiple Cultural Identities Traversed in Anna Sztemberk’s Paper Votives

    Erin Giffin

    8. St. Bernard of Clairvaux and the Notion of Animate Images in Early Modern Spain

    Livia Stoenescu

    9. Capuchin Asceticism and the Cult of the Catacombs in Early Modern Rome

    Jason Di Resta


    Ruth Sargent Noyes is visiting lecturer at the Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn, Estonia.