The cult of the saints : its rise and function in Latin Christianity

  • ACLS Humanities E-Book.
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  • ACLS Humanities E-Book.
  • Chicago : University of Chicago Press c1981
Physical description
xv, 187 p.
  • 1-282-06964-0
  • 0-226-07638-5
  • 9786612069642
  • Bibliographic Level Mode of Issuance: Monograph
  • Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • Other format: Also available in printed form.
  • Reproduction available: Electronic text and image data. Ann Arbor, Mich. : University of Michigan, MPublishing, 2002. Includes both TIFF files and keyword searchable text. ([ACLS Humanities E-Book]) Mode of access: Intranet. This volume is made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
  • Mode of access: World Wide Web.
  • English
  • Print version record.
  • The holy and the grave -- "A fine and provate place" -- The invisible companion -- The very special dead -- Praesentia -- Potentia -- Notes.
Other names
Related item
  • Other format: ; ISBN: 0-226-07622-9
  • Other format: ; ISBN: 0-226-07621-0
  • Electronic books.
  • Former Course Reserve reading.
  • History.
  • text
  • English
Internet Resources


  • Following the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, the cult of the saints was the dominant form of religion in Christian Europe. In this elegantly written work, Peter Brown explores the role of tombs, shrines, relics, and pilgrimages connected with the sacred bodies of the saints. He shows how men and women living in harsh and sometimes barbaric times relied upon the merciful intercession of the holy dead to obtain justice, forgiveness, and to find new ways to accept their fellows. Challenging the common treatment of the cult as an outbreak of superstition among the lower classes, Brown demonstrates how this form of religiousity engaged the finest minds of the Church and elicited from members of the educated upper classes some of their most splendid achievements in poetry, literature, and the patronage of the arts.
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