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While the modern world has largely dismissed the figure of the saint as a throwback, we remain fascinated by excess, marginality, transgression, and porous subjectivity-categories that define the saint. In this collection, Françoise Meltzer and Jas Elsner bring together top scholars from across the humanities to reconsider our denial of saintliness and examine how modernity returns to the lure of saintly grace, energy, and charisma. Addressing such problems as how saints are made, the use of saints by political and secular orders, and how holiness is personified, Saintstakes us on a photo tour of Graceland and the cult of Elvis and explores the changing political takes on Joan of Arc in France. It shows us the self-fashioning of culture through the reevaluation of saints in late-antique Judaism and Counter-Reformation Rome, and it questions the political intent of underlying claims to spiritual attainment of a Muslim sheikh in Morocco and of Sephardism in Israel. Populated with the likes of Francis of Assisi, Teresa of Avila, and Padre Pio, this book is a fascinating inquiry into the status of saints in the modern world.
Franoise Meltzer is the Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities at the University of Chicago, where she is also professor at the Divinity School and in the College, and chair of the Department of Comparative Literature. Meltzer is the author of five books, most recently of Seeing Double: Baudelaire's Modernity, and coeditor of the journal Critical Inquiry. Jas Elsner is Humfrey Payne Senior Research Fellow in Classical Archaeology and Art at Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford, and visiting professor of art history at the University of Chicago. Eisner's most recent solo-authored book is Roman Eyes: Visuality and Subjectivity in Art and Text.
Table of Contents
From Cuba with Saints
Reviving the Fairy Tree: Tales of European Sanctity
Transgressing the Self: Making Charismatic Saints
On Naming Saints
Patron Saint of the Incongruous: Rabbi Me'ir, the Talmud, and Menippean Satire
Thinking with Saints: Sanctity and Society in the Early Modern World
St. Dymphna and the Lunatics: The Advent of Moral Community Psychiatry
On the Politics of Sainthood: Resistance and Mimicry in Postcolonial Morocco
The Enchantment of Judaism: Israeli Anxieties and Puzzles
Persuading the Absent Saint: Image and Performance in Marian Devotion
Miracles of Bodily Transformation, or How St. Francis Received the Stigmata
Re-Presenting a Contemporary Saint: Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
Saint Teresa of Avila
'Lycidas': A Wolf in Saint's Clothing
The Invisibility of the Saint
Beyond Compare: Pagan Saint and Christian God in Late Antiquity
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