"A Brief History of Saints" follows the rise of the cult of saints in Christianity from its origin in the age of the martyrs down to the present day. It refers to both well-known saints, such as Joan of Arc, and lesser-known figures like the 'holy fools' in the Orthodox tradition. It ranges over subjects as diverse as the history of canonization processes, the Reformation critique of the cult of saints, and the role of saints in other religious traditions. It discusses the relevance of sainthood in the postmodern era Two appendices describe patron saints and the iconography of saints in art.
Lawrence S. Cunningham is John O'Brien Professor of Theology at Notre Dame University. He is the author or editor of many books, including The Sacred Quest: An Invitation to the Study of Religion (2001), Christian Spirituality (1996), Ecumenism (1990), and The Catholic Faith: An Introduction (1987). His previous works on sainthood include biographies of Thomas Merton and Saint Francis of Assisi. He has won three Catholic Press Association awards for his religious writing and numerous teaching awards.
List of illustrations.Introduction.1. The Saint: Beginnings.Introduction.Beginnings.The Martyrs.Literature.After Constantine.2. The Bureaucratization of Sanctity.Liturgical Memory of the Saints.The Saintly Legend.Regularizing Sainthood.A Test Case: Francis of Assisi.The Christian East.The Many Meanings of the Saints.Pilgrimage.Venerating Saints: A Theological Clarification.3. Reformations Catholic and Protestant.The Age of the Reformers.The Catholic Reformation.The New Martyrs.The Papal Curia and Canonization.The Saints and Scholarship.4. Towards the Modern World.Worlds Divided.New Forms of Religious Life.Doctors of the Church.The Starets.The Tractarians and the Saints.5. The Twentieth Century.Schools of Spirituality.A New Saintliness.The New Martyrs.John Paul II: Saints and Evangelization.An Anglican and Lutheran Calendar.6. The Saints, World Religions, and the future.Introduction.Some Terminology.Saints as a Theological Resource.Saints and the Continuity of Religious Tradition.Appendix I: Patronal Saints.Appendix II: Iconography of the Saints.Notes.Selected Bibliography.Index