Module Code: HIS-00021-M
Tutor: Simon Ditchfield
The history of holiness and the cult of saints from the close of the Council of Trent in 1564 to the French occupation of Rome (1798) is one characterised by an apparent paradox. On the one hand, never had so many saints (from all periods of Christian history) been integrated into Roman Catholic worship and devotion. On the other, never had the cult of saints and the definition of holiness been so closely regulated by Rome; first informally, and then formally by the Congregation of Rites (founded in 1588) in conjunction with the Roman Inquisition (founded in 1542).
This course sets out to challenge this notion of contradiction and paradox, replacing it with a more nuanced and flexible understanding that takes into account the consumption as well as production of holiness. In doing so it helps us to see the fundamental role played by the cult of saints in helping to create this planet’s first world religion. Extensive use will be made of contemporary saints’ lives (both printed and online) together with relevant artistic and architectural evidence.
After successfully completing this course students will be able to:
Students will attend nine weekly two-hour seminars. They will complete a 2,000-word procedural essay for which they will receive an individual tutorial.
The likely seminar programme is as follows:
There will be a procedural essay of 2,000 words maximum (not including footnotes and bibliography). This will be marked and given back in a tutorial in week nine. An assessed essay of up to 4,000 words (which, depending on your personal choice, may or may not be a development of your procedural essay) will be due on Monday of week two of the summer term.