Mother Teresa: Saint or Celebrity?, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Mother Teresa

Saint or Celebrity?, 1st Edition

By Gezim Alpion


304 pages

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Mother Teresa was one of the most written about and publicised women in modern times. Apart from Pope John Paul II, she was arguably the most advertised religious celebrity in the last quarter of the twentieth century. During her lifetime as well as posthumously, Mother Teresa continues to generate a huge level of interest and heated debate.

Gëzim Alpion explores the significance of Mother Teresa to the mass media, to celebrity culture, to the Church and to various political groups. A section explores the ways different vested interests have sought to appropriate her after her death, and also examines Mother Teresa's own attitude to her childhood and to the Balkan conflicts in the 1980s and 1990s.

This book sheds a new and fascinating light upon this remarkable and influential woman, which will intrigue followers of Mother Teresa and those who study the vagaries of stardom and celebrity culture.


'It is a clever book, providing a great deal of original and new thought on the subject.' - Primrose Peacock, Friends of Albania

'In his unparalleled scholarly book, Alpion has presented a multidimensional portrait of Mother Teresa. And she appears human as she rarely did in any discourse about her.' - Gaston Roberge, The New Leader

'In its depth, breadth, and seriousness, this volume may stand for some time to come as the single most imporant biography of Mother Teresa in English … A great value of this book is that [Alpion] has provided us with the fullest portrait yet of her native culture and her maturation' –Center for Islamic Pluralism

'This book of Alpion's feels like a whiff of delightfully fresh air. It is the work of an open and dedicated scholar, who despite his reverence for the nun has yet striven to be as unbiased as possible, never letting his emotions get in the way. I would have no hesitation at all in recommending this book to everyone.' – Bulletin of the Faculty of Foreign Studies

'I enjoyed this book and anyone interested in how Albanian identity is understood and constructed should take the time to read it carefully.' -- Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Preface by Professor David Marsh Introduction 1. Mother Teresa and Celebrity Culture 2. The Balkans Appropriation of Mother Teresa 3. The Forgotten Years 4. Mother Teresa’s Attitude towards Her Early Years 5. Jesus the Divine Superstar 6. From Church Rebel to Church Asset Conclusion. Select Bibliography. Select Filmography. Index

About the Author

Gëzim Alpion is Lecturer in Sociology and Media Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK. He received a PhD from the University of Durham, UK, in 1997. Alpion is a versatile academic, writer, playwright, essayist and journalist. His works include Vouchers (2001), Foreigner Complex (2002), If Only the Dead Could Listen (2006) and Encounters with Civilizations (2007).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Christianity / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture