Making and remaking saints in nineteenth-century Britain

Edited by Gareth Atkins

Making and remaking saints in nineteenth-century Britain


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Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5633-4
  • Pages: 296
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £25.00
  • Published Date: June 2021
  • BIC Category: RELIGION / Christianity / History, Humanities / Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900, United Kingdom, Great Britain, Humanities / History of religion, Religion, History, United Kingdom, Great Britain, History of religion, 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 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, culture of history, and 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


Gareth Atkins is Fellow and Director of Studies in History at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He is also a member of the Bible and Antiquity Project at CRASSH, Cambridge

Making and remaking saints in nineteenth-century Britain

Edited by Gareth Atkins

Paperback £25.00 / $36.95

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

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