Friday, August 31, 2012

Afterlives of the Saints: Stories from the Ends of Faith by Colin Dickey

In Afterlives of the Saints, Colin Dickey examines the lives and reputations of some the saints of the early Christian Church with the advantage of a 21st century eye. Taking into consideration current science, history and art history, he delves into the hagiographies and legends of these holy people. Martyred by Romans, husbands or fathers; self-mutilated for the glory of God; experiencing visions; wrestling with demons: these are some of the fates suffered by the saints studied in this book. Why is Saint Barbara the patron saint of cannoneers and Saint Lawrence the patron saint of comedians? Why is Saint Anthony often associated with pigs? How did Saint Foy’s bones come to rest in a monastery far from where she died? Why is Saint George honored by both Christians and Muslims? These are just some of the questions respectfully and compassionately answered in this entertaining book.