Sacred Biography

Sacred Biography : Saints and Their Biographers in the Middle Ages

3.45 (11 ratings by Goodreads)
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Medieval "saints' lives" are among the oldest literary texts of Western vernacular culture, yet are routinely patronized as "pious fiction". Heffernan demonstrates that to characterize the genre as fiction is to misunderstand the intentions of medieval authors, who were neither simply credulous or blinded by piety. Concentrating on Latin and English texts, Heffernan reconstructs the medieval perspective, arguing that such biographical writing presupposes an entirely different view of the world and the self, and presents new ideas of sin and guilt, of what was real and what imaginary, and for what one should live and die. Offering a new perspective on Christian literary expression, this book will appeal to scholars in Medieval, Religious and New Testament studies, Feminist Studies, and those interested in the history of Christian more

Product details

  • Paperback | 346 pages
  • 140 x 212 x 24mm | 498.95g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0195079078
  • 9780195079074
  • 2,021,247

Back cover copy

This excellent book attempts to bridge the gulf separating medieval from modern sensibility with regard to issues of authority and judgment in biographical writing...Logical, thorough, and well-documented...It is now, and will be for some time to come, the most substantive study of the subject, providing a fair assessment of the work of earlier pioneers, establishing a far-ranging and comprehensive bibliography, and offering new, fresh insights on the writing, context, and reception of 'sacred biographies.'show more

Review quote

Heffernan has read widely and reflectively in the vast field of medieval hagiography and given us a book on the subject that probes deeply into the nature of the documents and the vagaries of our response to them. * Church History * A challenging and substantive contribution to the growing discussion of the lives of the saints among scholars in both the humanities and the social sciences. * Theological Studies *show more

Rating details

11 ratings
3.45 out of 5 stars
5 9% (1)
4 36% (4)
3 45% (5)
2 9% (1)
1 0% (0)
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