Cover: Saints and Sacred Matter: The Cult of Relics in Byzantium and Beyond, from Harvard University PressCover: Saints and Sacred Matter in HARDCOVER

Saints and Sacred Matter

The Cult of Relics in Byzantium and Beyond

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Product Details


$90.00 • £72.95 • €81.00

ISBN 9780884024064

Publication Date: 11/23/2015


376 pages

9 x 11 inches

157 color photographs, 25 halftones, 15 line illustrations

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection > Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Symposia and Colloquia


At their best, the yearly symposia of the Dumbarton Oaks center for Byzantine studies delineate the high-water mark of scholarship in the particular field to which they are devoted. The collection Saints and Sacred Matter (which emerged from the symposium of 2011) lives up magnificently to this expectation. Most notably, Cynthia Hahn and Holger Klein have gone well beyond Byzantium. They have included remarkable new studies of the cult of relics in medieval Western Europe, and also in Islam and Judaism. This generous outreach enables us, at last, to compare the function of relics in two major Christian regions—Byzantium and the Catholic West—as well as in the Jewish and Islamic worlds.—Peter Brown, The New York Review of Books

An outstanding collection of essays that together chart a clear path forward for thinking and writing about the role and meaning of relics and sacred matter, in ways that move beyond narrow theological discourse to engage with material things as bearers of ideas, beliefs, and practices, across space and time… This is by far one of the most important and useful gatherings of scholarship to date on relics and their meanings.—Anne E. Lester, Speculum

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