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Saints in disguise : performance, illusion and truth in early Byzantine hagiography

Authors
  • Van Pelt, Julie
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2024
Source
Ghent University Institutional Archive
Keywords
Language
English
License
White
External links

Abstract

This book analyzes the theme of disguise in fifteen Byzantine Saints’ Lives. The corpus includes Lives of so-called ‘cross-dressing’ saints (female saints who live as men), of ‘holy fools’ (saints who pretend madness to hide their holiness) and of ‘beggar-saints’ (saints who live in (the proximity of) their parental house as beggars without making themselves known to their parents). This is innovative because these holy types are not typically studied together. The central argument is that the examined saints’ Lives, by tapping into questions such as how to recognize illusions and where to look for truth, reflect Christian epistemological ideals regarding human perception of reality.

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