Flesh Made Word: Saints' Stories and the Western Imagination

Flesh Made Word: Saints' Stories and the Western Imagination

by Aviad Kleinberg
     
 

In the fourth century a new narrative genre captured the imagination of the faithful—the moving accounts of the lives of Christian saints.Kleinberg argues that the saints’ stories of medieval Europe were more than edifying entertainment. By telling and retelling the story of virtue and salvation, by expanding the religious imagination of the West, they… See more details below

Overview

In the fourth century a new narrative genre captured the imagination of the faithful—the moving accounts of the lives of Christian saints.Kleinberg argues that the saints’ stories of medieval Europe were more than edifying entertainment. By telling and retelling the story of virtue and salvation, by expanding the religious imagination of the West, they were shaping and reshaping Christianity itself.

Editorial Reviews

L'Express

[Kleinberg] puts together, stone upon stone, a flawless, lively, cogent historical argument...[The history of saints' stories] is an amazing story...which allows him to develop a brilliant analysis of the ties between sacred and profane, and to expose the power lines of European history. A magnificent sweeping away of conventional wisdom.
— Christian Makarian

Le Monde

It is "a history of stories" that the Israeli historian, Aviad Kleinberg, offers us, a work worthy of praise for its vigorous and provocative writing, for its wealth of ideas (that connect the first 13 centuries of Christianity to contemporary preoccupations) and for its intellectual ambition.
— Jean-Claude Schmitt

London Review of Books

Clever, wide-ranging, and tendentious...Kleinberg's central concern is to explore the complex and often fraught interactions between charisma and authority. His book consists of a series of close readings of hagiographic narratives from the third to the 13th centuries.
— Eamon Duffy

L'Express - Christian Makarian
[Kleinberg] puts together, stone upon stone, a flawless, lively, cogent historical argument...[The history of saints' stories] is an amazing story...which allows him to develop a brilliant analysis of the ties between sacred and profane, and to expose the power lines of European history. A magnificent sweeping away of conventional wisdom.
Le Monde - Jean-Claude Schmitt
It is "a history of stories" that the Israeli historian, Aviad Kleinberg, offers us, a work worthy of praise for its vigorous and provocative writing, for its wealth of ideas (that connect the first 13 centuries of Christianity to contemporary preoccupations) and for its intellectual ambition.
London Review of Books - Eamon Duffy
Clever, wide-ranging, and tendentious...Kleinberg's central concern is to explore the complex and often fraught interactions between charisma and authority. His book consists of a series of close readings of hagiographic narratives from the third to the 13th centuries.
H-Net Reviews - Anna Lisa Taylor
This highly readable and accessible book will be of interest not only to scholarly readers, but rather, like the saints' lives themselves, it will challenge and engage a broader public of creative consumers...Kleinberg's argument is laudable for recognizing the complex social transactions that underlie religious texts. His claims about the countless negotiations that determined the shape of these texts, the nature of sanctity, and the development of the cult of saints as a whole are compelling and plausible.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674026476
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
04/28/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.54(h) x 1.12(d)

Meet the Author

Aviad Kleinberg is Professor of History at Tel Aviv University and the author of Prophets in Their Own Country: Living Saints and the Making of Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages.

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