The Invention of Saintliness

Edited by Anneke B. Mulder-Bakker

Foreword by Han J. W. Drijvers

© 2002 – Routledge

240 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415862943
pub: 2015-05-08
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415267595
pub: 2002-06-20
US Dollars$178.00

About the Book

This volume discusses, from an historical and literary angle, the ways in which sanctification and the inscription of saintliness take place. Going beyond the traditional categories of canonization, cult, liturgical veneration and hagiographical lives, the work raises fundamental issues concerning definitions of saints and saintliness in a period before the concept was crystallized in canon law. As well as discussing sources and methodology, contributions cover contextual issues, including relics and veneration, life and the afterlife, and examinations of specific sources and texts. Subjects raised include the idea of hagiography as intimate biography, perceptions of holiness in writings by and about female mystics, and bodily aspects of the Franciscan search for evangelical perfection.


'The volume comprises, in short, a series of carefully nuanced investigations as to the roles that texts, individuals, social groups and institutions played in developing the conceptual framework of the cult of saints before the process of saint-making was subjected to effective control from above.'

- Ecclesiastical History, Volume 57

'Newcomers to the subject and students embarking on dissertations will find the book eminently useful for the purpose of defining their own research questions.'

- Paul Hayward, University of Lancaster

'Its great virue is the succinct way in which it defines issues central to the field.'

- Paul Hayward, University of Lancaster

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction

Part II: Contexts: the Cult of Saints and the Invention of Saintliness

Part III: Texts: the Lives of Saints and the Invention of Saintliness

About the Author/Editor

Anneke B. Mulder-Bakker is Senior Lecturer in Medieval History and Medieval Studies at the University of Groningen (Netherlands). Her wide-ranging publications on historiography, hagiography and Gender Studies include Sanctity and Motherhood (Garland, 1995), De Kluizenaar in de Eik (The Hermit in the Oak, 1995), and Gouden Legenden (Golden Legend, 1998). She is presently preparing a book on Anchoresses in the Low Countries.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Medieval Religion and Culture

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / History