Chapter

Saints Before and After Death

Richard Bauckham

in Theology, Aesthetics, and Culture

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199646821
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744853 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646821.003.0005
Saints Before and After Death

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This chapter engages with Brown's discussion of the saints in Discipleship and Imagination. Brown argues that the medieval lives of the saints functioned to broaden the idea of the imitation of Christ from a rather literal to a more analogical character, so as to make discipleship more available to people in circumstances very different from those of Jesus in the Gospels. The present chapter suggests that more specific content is needed before we can understand what this analogical relationship concretely involves. It also argues that, whereas Brown considers that modern novels may now fulfill the role of lives of the saints in the past, biography may be more appropriate for this function. On the cult of the saints this chapter questions whether the relationship of the church on earth and the saints in heaven now is best conceived in the way Brown defends, namely as real contact between the two.

Keywords: David Brown; saints; discipleship; Jesus Christ; Gospels; analogy; novels; biography; heaven

Chapter.  4732 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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