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In Saints and Society, Donald Weinstein and Rudolph M. Bell examine the lives of 864 saints who lived between 1000 and 1700 and the perceptions of sanctity prevalent in late medieval and early modern Europe. They also provide a substantial body of information on the people among whom the saints lived and by whom they came to be venerated. In the first part, the authors give close consideration to what the saints' lives reveal about childhood, adolescence, and adulthood; the impact of religious inspiration upon family bonds; and family influences upon religious behavior. The second part provides a composite picture of piety and its changing configuration in Latin Christendom. With the assistance of statistical analysis, the authors answer questions involving the popular perception of holiness, social class, and gender.
List of Illustrations
Introduction: The Historian and the Hagiographer
Part 1 - The Call to Holiness
Appendix to Part 1: Statistical Profiles of Saints
Part 2 - Perceptions of Sanctity
5. Who Was a Saint?
8. Men and Women
Conclusion: New Directions
Appendix on Sources
Appendix on Method