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From the Publisher"This volume asks us again and again what is common among such figures as Israeli holy men, an Argentinean dictator's wife, a Mexican folk healer, and Elvis Presley. It challenges us to avoid the dismissive, stereotypical 'something is screwed up with these people,' and to query honestly and patiently what it is that inspires others to congregate around these luminous images. Something profoundly human resides in the varied manner in which people speak of and to these figures, travel considerable distance at considerable expense to places such as Espinazo, Fairmount, and Graceland, and seek tactile communication with a person now dead."
—Miles E. Richardson, Louisiana State University
"This magnificent collection . . . Clarified many issues, blurred many boundaries, expanded the scope of the anthropology of religion, and brought it closer to the lived world. No small task indeed."
—Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
"This book seeks to explore the way in which the sacred can be found in the secular as well as the religious. . . . This is a fascinating subject and the book consists of a collection of essays which provide convincing support for Hopgood's argument, discussing the complex integration of worship and power, the various manifestations of love and the significance of social structures in the process of sanctification. . . . This book deserves to be read for the considerable anthropological evidence it provides to support a very interesting and necessary premise."—Journal of American Studies
"These essays present a compelling discussion of how image, ritual, and popular desire have been used to memorialize and validate popular icons, heroes, and celebrities. . . . A fascinating read for anyone interested in the dynamics of celebrity and idol creation, the politics of media and image consumption, and the function of venerated others in the creation of modern values and selves."—Biography