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Saints and the concept of sainthood have had a dramatic and lasting impact on society. Their influence can be found in both profound religious contexts and within the secular everyday world in which their cultural presence often goes virtually unnoticed. For many people the saints serve as direct intercessors between themselves and God but it is arguable that, even for those without strong religious beliefs, they form part of an unconscious cultural tradition that is deeply embedded in the collective psyche. Although saints developed from, and are most closely linked to, Christianity there are clear parallels with many of the ideals and values that they represent in other world religions. Even more significantly, it is possible to find fundamentally similar concepts in a range of pre-Christian beliefs and religions. Put simply, the concept of the holy man or woman is an ancient one.
This book explores and explains sainthood

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