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Holy People of the World

A Cross-Cultural Encyclopedia

Holy People of the World by Phyllis G. Jestice
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A cross-cultural encyclopedia of the most significant holy people in history, examining why people in a wide range of religious traditions throughout the world have been regarded as divinely inspired. Saints and shamans. Avatars and righteous men. Friends of God. In practically every religion and culture throughout history, individuals have been recognized for their uncommon connection to the divine or their exceptional service to faith and humanity.

The stories of these "holy people" reflect both the spirituality of specific cultures and the universal impulse to find meaning through faith. The first reference on the subject to span all the world's major religions, Holy People of the World: A Cross-Cultural Encyclopedia examines the impact of individuals who, through personal charisma and inspirational deeds, served both as glorious examples of human potential and as envoys for the divine. Holy People of the World contains more than 1,100 biographical sketches of venerated men and women.

Written by religious studies experts and historians, each article focuses on the basic question: How did this person come to be regarded as holy? In addition, the encyclopedia features 20 survey articles on views of holy people in the major religious traditions such as Islam, Buddhism, and African religions, as well as 62 comparative articles on aspects of holiness and veneration across cultures such as awakening and conversion experiences, heredity, gender, asceticism, and persecution. Whether exploring by religion, culture, or historic period, this extensively cross-referenced resource offers a wealth of insights into one of the most revealing-and least explored-common denominators of spiritual traditions.

ABC-CLIO; December 2004
1044 pages; ISBN 9781851096497
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Title: Holy People of the World
Author: Phyllis G. Jestice