The Cults of Sainte Foy and the Cultural Work of Saints


The Cults of Sainte Foy and the Cultural Work of Saints


Document Type



Bringing together artifacts, texts and practices within an interpretive framework that stresses the cultural work performed by saints, Kathleen Ashley here presents a comparative study of the cults of the medieval Sainte Foy at a number of sites where she was especially venerated. This book analyzes how each cult site produced the saint it needed, appropriating whatever was required to that end. Ashley's approach is thoroughly interdisciplinary, incorporating visual, religious, medieval, and women's/gender studies as well as literary studies and social history. She uses theoretical framework of "cultural work" to analyze how the cult of Sainte Foy was sponsored and received in specific locales across Europe. The book is comprehensive in terms of historical as well as geographical range, tracing the history of the cult from the early Middle Ages into the present day. It also includes historiographic analysis, examining the way the cults of Sainte Foy have been represented in various historical accounts. Ashley's narrative challenges boundary between "elite" and "popular" culture, and complicates the traditional vernacular vs. Latin language binary. A chief aim of the study is to show how "art" objects always operated in conjunction with other cultural texts to construct a saint's cult. The volume is heavily illustrated, showing artifacts such as stained glass windows and wall paintings, which are not readily available from any other source.



Publication Date



Taylor & Francis




English Language and Literature

The Cults of Sainte Foy and the Cultural Work of Saints