Making and remaking saints in nineteenth-century Britain

Edited by Gareth Atkins

Making and remaking saints in nineteenth-century Britain


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  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0023-8
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: August 2016
  • BIC Category: RELIGION / Christianity / History, Humanities / Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900, United Kingdom, Great Britain, Humanities / History of religion, Modern History, Religion, History, History of religion, United Kingdom, Great Britain, European history, Christianity, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain / Victorian Era (1837-1901), HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain


This book examines the place of 'saints' and sanctity in a self-consciously modern age, and argues that Protestants were as fascinated by such figures as Catholics were. Long after the mechanisms of canonisation had disappeared, people 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. Making and remaking saints in the nineteenth-century Britain explores for the first time how sainthood remained significant in this period both as an enduring institution and as a 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, and together they will appeal to not only 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.


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

'This splendid collection provides abundant evidence to support Clyde Binfield's
dictum that the nineteenth century was 'hagiology's high noon'.'
Robin Gill, Theology February 2017

'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 book does an excellent job of exploring the ways in which hagiography was rewritten and ecclesiastical history was contested. It does very valuable work in drawing attention to the interaction of Protestant and Catholic traditions and even occasionally gets into some daring and interesting territory in the course of discussions of the use of saints by freethinkers, atheists and spiritualists.'
Dominic Janes, Keele University , Journal of Ecclesiastical History


Introduction: thinking with saints
Gareth Atkins
1 Paul
Michael Ledger-Lomas
2 The Virgin Mary
Carol Engelhardt Herringer
3 Claudia Rufina
Martha Vandrei
4 Patrick
Andrew R. Holmes
5 Thomas Becket
Nicholas Vincent
6 Thomas More
W. J. Sheils
7 Ignatius Loyola
Gareth Atkins
8 English Catholic martyrs
Lucy Underwood
9 Richard Baxter
Simon Burton
10 The Scottish Covenanters
James Coleman
11 John and Mary Fletcher
David R. Wilson
12 William Wilberforce and 'the Saints'
Roshan Allpress
13 Elizabeth Fry and Sarah Martin
Helen Rogers
14 John Henry Newman's Lives of the English Saints
Elizabeth Macfarlane
15 Thérèse of Lisieux
Alana Harris

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