Making and remaking saints in nineteenth-century Britain

Gareth Atkins
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This collection of essays examines the place of ‘saints’ and sanctity in nineteenth-century Britain. It argues that holy men and women were pivotal in religious discourse, as subjects of veneration and inter-confessional contention. Protestants were as fascinated by such figures as Catholics were. Long after the mechanisms of canonization had disappeared, they continued not only to engage with the saints of the past but continued to make their own saints in all but name. Just as strikingly, it claims that devotional practices and language were not the property of orthodox Christians alone. Even in an age of confessional strife, doubt and secularisation, devotional practices and language remained central to how both Christians and their opponents reflected on that changing world. Making and remaking saints is significant, then, because until now no-one has explored how sainthood remained significant in this period both as an enduring institution and as a fruitful metaphor that could be transposed into unexpected contexts. Each of the chapters in this volume focuses on the reception of a particular individual or group. Together they will attract not just historians of religion, but those concerned with material culture, the cult of history, and with the reshaping of British identities in an age of faith and doubt

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‘Making and Remaking Saints in Nineteenth-Century Britain will most certainly be a success for readers interested in the ways in which religious thought shaped and was shaped by the intellectual currents of the period.'
Devon Fisher, Lenoir-Rhyne University
Journal of British Studies

‘The editor is to be congratulated for having brought together such a selection of scholars, and for having presented a major contribution to the understanding of the religious and historical tensions of the period.'
Serenhedd James, St Stephen's House, Oxford
British Catholic History

‘This splendid collection provides abundant evidence to support Clyde Binfield's dictum that the nineteenth century was 'hagiology's high noon'.'
Robin Gill
Theology 2017, Vol. 120 (2)

‘The editor of this book, a Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge, has brought together a strong team of scholars who address a fascinating subject.'
Church Times
November 2016

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