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The Lives of Saints

HNRS 2030 Sec. 066 - Spring 2021

Associate Professor Bradley Storin Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
100% Web-Based

This course investigates writings about the lives of saints, or “hagiography,” in late antique Christianity (ca. 100-700 C.E.). Through a critical engagement with these texts in translation, students will encounter apostles, martyrs, mystics, and holy people from Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Syriac literature. In our seminar-style discussions and individual research, we will examine attributes of the saints (special powers and their relationship to the transcendent divine) and address issues of gender, embodiment, power, and identity. How do these texts define and construct holiness? To what extent does hagiography constitute a literary genre in late antiquity? What kinds of problems do they pose to historians who want to use them to learn about the past? No prior knowledge of Christianity is assumed.

Fulfills General Education:

English Composition
Humanities