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The Beginnings of the Cult of Relics | Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Beginnings of the Cult of Relics

Robert Wiśniewski


Christians always admired and venerated martyrs who died for their faith, but for a long time thought that the bodies of martyrs should remain undisturbed in their graves. Initially, the Christian attitude toward the bones of the dead, whether a saint’s or not, was that of respectful distance. This book tells how, in the mid-fourth century, this attitude started to change, swiftly and dramatically. The first chapters show the rise of new beliefs. They study how, when, and why Christians began to believe in the power of relics, first, over demons, then over physical diseases and enemies; how th ... More

Keywords: Christianity, relic, saint, martyr, power of relics, contact

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780199675562
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199675562.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert Wiśniewski, author
Associate Professor, University of Warsaw