Religious Studies | Topics in Religious Studies: Saints and Society
R202 | 28467 | Smith, W.


In this course we will explore saints and their relationship to the
societies in which they lived and were remembered. We will look at a
number of different types of saints, such as the martyr, the monk,
and the missionary, including such figures as Saints Anthony,
Perpetua, and Francis, and Sebastian. Focusing in on Late Antiquity
and the Middle Ages, but with some forays into the modern period as
well, we will direct our inquiry into the saint with some of the
following probing questions: What constitutes a saint? Why the
different types of saints? How does gender play into sanctity? How
do people remember saints? What do people believe saints can do for
them in both this world and the afterlife? In order to help us
answer these questions, we will read a variety of texts including a
number of saintsí lives (hagiography), medieval treatises on
pilgrimage and relics, a number of scholarly essays, and view at
least one movie.