A Short Reader of Medieval Saints
This short reader includes selections from Stouck's longer volume, Medieval Saints: A Reader, along with new material. It is designed to briefly introduce students to many of the most famous and representative saints of the age, and can be used to supplement other texts in a more general medieval history course.
- Series: Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures
- World Rights
- Page Count: 191 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.4in x 9.0in
ReviewsMedieval Saints is a collection remarkable for both its range and for its respect for the richness of the individual texts. Through it the reader will be able to trace the origin, the diffusion and the many layers of meaning of a central element of Christianity for a period of well over a millennium. We begin with the martyrs, with vivid tales of public cruelty in the cities of the Greco-Roman Mediterranean and with holy men and women in a recognizably Roman world in its last days. We end often with the same figures transformed over time so as to become part of the Christian 'folk-lore' of all Western Europe. Gathered from the vernacular languages of Europe, as well as from the Latin texts, this collection does justice to the many layers to which the cult of the saints penetrated, and to the constantly changing views of the human person implied in the idea of Christian sanctity. To read it is to re-live an entire era in the imaginative history of Christian Europe.
Peter Brown, Princeton University
A Short Reader of Medieval Saints is a useful primer for any course dealing with medieval theology or history. Moreover, it could also serve as a starting point for examining the significance of hagiography and fable that surround the lives of saints. Students will find it informative, accessible, and even occasionally entertaining, if not shocking; while instructors and professors will value the way it covers a larger swath of material without sacrificing too much in its size. Without reservation, Stouck's newest offering is worth a hearty look.
Mary-Ann Stouck's A Short Reader of Medieval Saints stands apart in offering an abbreviated but judicious selection of saints' lives perfectly suited as a brief introduction. The author's choices represent not only the classic texts of male sanctity: Anthony the hermit, Benedict the monastic leader, and Francis the charismatic preacher but also include the stories of the female saints that have so inspired modern readers: Perpetua the virgin martyr, Radegund the defiant queen, Mary of Egypt the penitent prostitute, and Catherine of Siena the mystic bride of Christ. For the most part presented in their entirety, the texts range from accounts of torture and trials, to descriptions of virtues and visions, to letters in the saint's own words. Excerpts from the Golden Legend present tales from a best-seller of the Middle Ages, while other selections convey a vivid picture of cult practices ranging from relic theft to pilgrimage. In sum, the book fills a particular need with an elegant sufficiency.
Cynthia J. Hahn, Hunter College and the Graduate Center-CUNY
An original and wise choice of extracts illustrating the wide array of hagiographical sources and styles. This collection of translated medieval saints' lives is an ideal manual for students eager to explore the Middle Ages.
Isabelle Cochelin, University of Toronto
Mary-Ann Stouck is a retired Associate Professor of Humanities at Simon Fraser University. She is the editor of Medieval Saints: A Reader (University of Toronto Press, 1999) and the author of a variety of essays and studies on saints' lives and Middle English literature.
Table of contents
1. The Passion of SS. Perpetua and Felicitas
2. Christianity in the Desert: St. Antony the Great
3. The Life and Miracles of St. Benedict
4. Venantius Fortunatus's Life of St. Radegund
5. Theft of Relics: The Translation of SS. Marcellinus and Peter
6. The Pilgrim's Guide to St. James of Compostella
7. St. Francis of Assisi: His Conversion and Stigmata
8. Four 'Lives' from The Golden Legend
9. Catherine of Siena: Her Life and Letters
Index of Topics
Subjects and Courses