History Hour 1 – The Cult and Corpse of Francis Xavier: 1552-1622

In this lecture William Pinch seeks to understand the theological and historical significance of Francis Xavier’s death and ‘incorrupt body’ in the light of the explosion of Xavier hagiography in the late 16th century.

Of particular concern to Jesuit biographers and hagiographers was Xavier’s alleged–and theologically controversial– ability to restore the dead to life. Pinch argues that Xavier’s manner of death and uncommon body should be understood in the context of this particular aspect of Xavier hagiography. He then concludes with a reflection on the significance of the Xavier cult in the intellectual culture of Counter-Reformation (‘early modern’) Catholicism.

Dr. William R. Pinch.
PC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEFZ8GrRVTA
William Pinch is Chair of the Wesleyan University, History Department

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