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WikiProject Christianity / Saints (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
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Hagiography is the study of saints.[edit]

"Hagiography is the study of saints. 'A hagiography' refers literally to writings on the subject of such holy persons; and specifically, the biography of a saint. Hagiology, by contrast, is the study of saints collectively, without focusing on the life of an individual saint." This is uninformed, but I hesitate to tackle it. Anyone who's actually read some hagiography want to step in here? Wetman 05:30, 2 Sep 2004 (UTC)

THis is nonsense. Every definition of hagiography from a legitimate source that I've found from OED to M-W to Amer Her define hagiography as either a biography of a saint or saints, by ext. an overly reverential biography of anyone, and as an obsolete term from Hagiographa, the third section of the masoretic Hebrew Bible from Psalms to II Chronicles. Nowhere can I find a corroboration that hagiogrpahy is the study of saints. Neither is the term hagiology defined that way. Dec 27 2006

Added a little about early English Hagiography and AElfric. Sorry if the formatting is substandard. Catullus 14 December 2004

This sentence in general is problematic: "A hagiography refers literally to writings on the subject of such holy people, and specifically the biographies of ecclesiastical and secular leaders." "A hagiography" is not clear English: it should be either "Hagiography refers to writings on a saint or saints" or "A hagiography is a writing on a saint or saints" (the antecedent of 'such holy people' being 'saints'). Hagiography is a literary genre, as is stated below, not a field of study. And then, 'saints' are not specifically 'ecclesiastical and secular leaders' - take, e.g., Sts Felicity and Perpetua. (talk) 18:39, 2 May 2008 (UTC)


Saints are canonized by the Catholic and Orthodox churches only, AFAIK. There really is no "Christian church," and considering that about half of all Christians are not orthodox, I think it is an important distinction to make. I will change this soon if there are no arguments.

See also[edit]

What exactly is the relevance of entries such as Robertson Davies in the entries in "see also"? Is this some witty joke, "hagiography: see <x>" where x is an article deemed by the editor to be an example of the secular meaning of hagiography? If so, totally inappropriate...Stevage 19:11, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

to any English reader who has an interest in studying hagiography, Fifth Business will be interesting because of the more or less accurate insight it gives into the workings and personnel of the Bollandists. (talk) 18:48, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Ethiopian Hagiography[edit]

Ethiopian Hagiography is pretty widespread and important beginning in the 13th century, and I think it should be mentioned in the article somewhere (although I don't have time to do it myself right now). Yom 20:31, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

To what extent is a hagiography a good source for a biography in Wikipedia?[edit]

I am having a dispute at Sathya Sai Baba in which I assert that a book that was labelled by a reputable sources as a hagiography is not a good source for the Wikipedia biography. Another contributor thinks otherwise. Andries 19:49, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

The article previously said "the study of saint". I changed saint to "saints". I don't know if anyone had reason to have it as "saint" beforehand. Feel free to change it back if there was a good reason. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:13, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Other Faiths[edit]

The article is a bit Eurocentric. Would be good to see some non-Christian hagiographies from outside Europe included.)( (talk) 04:44, 8 February 2010 (UTC))

The Medæval period in ~[edit]

This is, as far as I know, not standard for Wikipedia. It should be changed, should it not? I am of course referring to the spelling of "medieval".

General observations[edit]

  • Does "imbued with the sacred" make sense? (talk) 23:02, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Characterization of use of hagiography in Eastern Orthodoxy as propaganda[edit]

Under WP:BRD, I am removing a sentence in the "Eastern Orthodoxy" section, along with its reference, on the grounds that the reference is not WP:RS, and open discussion here. Since it may have been in the article for a while, I thought my reasons should be made fuller than was possible in an edit summary. The reference is to an article published on the All Empires website. The website's "about" page, here, identifies the site as operated by hobbyists and volunteers, accepting articles from its forum members, without vetting. There is, therefore, no independent verification of any of the research that appears in its articles. That may in itself be enough to disqualify this website's use as WP:RS. But there is the article author himself to consider. While the website provides the means for authors to identify themselves, the link is broken. What does exist is only a list of the author's contributions to the website, not any biographical data. A Google search and LinkedIn list provide no authoritative person by the author's name, "Theodore Felix". Hence, we have neither any information as to the author's identity, his authority, nor to the reliability of his research. To me, the article reads as POV also. Evensteven (talk) 19:05, 25 January 2014 (UTC)


Hagiography also is widely applied by historians to works that portray historical figures in ultra-complimentary terms. Sca (talk) 17:22, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

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