Sanctorum. 10, 2013
Sanctity and Sacrality
ed. Sofia Boesch Gajano

sanctorum10The relationship between santity and sacrality, which had a traditional role in hagiographic study, has in recent decades been enriched on a number of counts: attention to the places preferred in the search for perfection and then sacralized by the presence of the saints; the construction of a sacred geography; interest in the history of sanctuaries, considered through the variety in their origins and of the objects of cult. Diachrony and multidisciplinary are two parameters essential in hagiographic study: the former has been felt in the last few decades as a revision to a chronology which privileged Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages; the latter has its roots in the very scholarly nature of hagiography, if one things of the relationship established by early-modern scholarship, above all by the Bollandists, between hagiography, philology and archeology, and those constructed subsequently through historical and social sciences, together with art history and iconography, and also historical geography. The essays gathered in this volume also confirm how a European dimension for hagiographic studies has become indispensible.

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Sanctorum. 6, 2009
Shaping Sound: the cult of saints and music, sixteenth to eighteenth centuries
ed. Simon S. Ditchfield

sanctorum6A particular resource available to the Church during the early modern period through its re-establishment of the cult of saints following on from the Council of Trent was musical expression, whether in the context of liturgical celebrations or in that of theatrical representations. The monographic section of the journal, then, offers some significant examples of how music was used in religious life and cultural promotion both in Europe and in the lands of mission beyond its borders.

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Sanctorum. 5, 2008
Devotion(s) in modern society
ed. Tommaso Caliò and Roberto Rusconi

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The change in the representation of the forms and manifestations of sanctity by mass media which take hold during the twentieth century when the propaganda is used alongside hagiographic writing in its more traditional forms; the former, with its greater persuasive force may also be addressed to audiences identified through class, culture and other forms of belonging. The Catholic hierarchy realized the importance of what was then the new media, from cinema, to radio broadcasts. which were seen as a type of continuation of the pulpit and cathedra, and also to television which, in the most recent decades has been the protagonist for a notable re-launch of the genre of hagiography which has reached its apogee in the ever-growing number of religious fictions. From this point of view, the Church’s media strategy came to its highest levels of success in post-war Italy, although it had its origins in the massive diffusion of broadsheets, which were able to include Christian marvels within the field of their own sensationalism, which also saw new impresarios of the cult of saints arising which at times supported but also at times offered themselves as alternatives, to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

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Sanctorum. 2, 2005
Treasuring relics
ed. Sofia Boesch Gajano

sanctorum2Relics have, now for a number of years, been the subject of a reconsideration which has made clear their many material and symbolic dimensions. The present project aims to have the long tradition of studies on relics interact with new methodologies and interpretations, juxtaposing different disciplinary approaches. The title alludes to a two-fold problem: the valorization of the relic through its transformation into an objet d’art as well as an object of devotion, and the building up of literal treasures of sacra pignora, or holy relics. The point of view taken here is thus that which focuses on the construction – and frequent reconstruction – of the relic via artistic production. This latter, in the variety of the forms it takes, is interpreted as an means of mediation between the sacrality of the object and its audience. Such a consideration gives rise to problems of conservation, of its placing in a sacred space or museum, of their stock-piling, and, in general, their management between showing and hiding, male and female, lay and clerical, over different periods of time.

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Sanctorum. 1, 2004
Critical edition of hagiographic sources
ed. Francesco Scorza Barcellona

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Hagiographic texts from Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages often have a fluid and complex transmission which makes the reconstruction of their individual histories and their edition particularly difficult. The texts published here offer a selection of problems and methodologies, from the presentation of singular hagiographic dossiers with the specific examples which they offer, to the hagiographic text’s identity within a manuscript tradition and through printings, to the more specific problem of the stratification of hagiographic works, to the “examples of normal exceptions” (that is, variants and successive recensions by the original authors themselves, the definition of “corruptions” in the composition and transmission of texts or the question of hagiographic doubles), to authorial identity, its definition and its function in textual transmission.

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