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date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In his authoritative New Testament formulations, St. Paul describes the saints of Christianity as the “beloved of God and the called of Jesus Christ” for their obedience to the faith in him...” Peter Brown, in his account of the Christian communities of the post-apostolic church and later antiquity, states that “the cult of the saints” emerges from beliefs and practices that differ from Paul’s normative definitions. St. Augustine’s transhistorical composition of his two cities in City of God retraces Paul’s serial tracking of the saints who are the true members of Christ’s Church. This article examines the depiction of Christian saints in medieval literature in Western Europe, particularly early Christian virgins martyred by pagan oppressors. It looks at the life of John Wyclif, an Oxford scholar and cleric, and his views about the character and validity of the Church and its saints. It also analyzes Michael Walzer’s The Revolution of the Saints and his arguments regarding the value of the model of Puritan sainthood in present-day circumstances.

Keywords: St. Paul, saints, Christianity, cult, St. Augustine, medieval literature, western Europe, virgins, John Wyclif, Michael Walzer

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