Definition of hagiography in English:

hagiography

noun

mass noun
  • 1The writing of the lives of saints.

    • ‘He was certainly no cardboard figure and no amount of hagiography has succeeded in making him a saint.’
    • ‘If Renaissance art historiography is an adaptation of hagiography, wherein a new literary genre finds its themes in an ancient form, then might there not be a place for a Judas figure?’
    • ‘Green did not set out to write hagiography, but I think this is hagiography at its best.’
    • ‘To say that hagiography was mere propaganda for the saint in question is missing an important point.’
    • ‘A virtual hagiography has emerged around missionary translations, describing the trying conditions under which these early translators toiled.’
    • ‘Consequently, ‘structures of identity’ are revealed that hover between ‘autobiography, hagiography, sanctity and art.’’
    • ‘This is based on references in Irish hagiography to belts having been preserved as relics of the saints who wore them.’
    • ‘Because of the delicate nature of contemporary analysis, there is a penchant to lean in either of two ways: hagiography or unfettered antagonism.’
    • ‘She fit a type easily recognized in the annals of hagiography, and it was on that basis that claims for sainthood were made.’
    • ‘But like many other writers today finding fresh meaning in the lives and deaths of long-ago Christians, McBrien reviews traditional hagiography in order to draw contemporary lessons.’
    • ‘Why such fear of modern critical biblical studies and new understandings of hagiography and ecclesiastical history?’
    • ‘In America, hagiography (the making of saints) is an art form.’
    • ‘But it's also extraordinary that they can be faithfully reported by a biographer who seems committed to hagiography.’
    • ‘The authors employ this term as they trace the active presence of spirituality within imagery and seek to understand the devotee's communion with the saint through a process of hagiography.’
    • ‘Often, such literature is not hagiography, but presents life that falls short of human virtues.’
    • ‘Harris suggests this owed much to models from Roman Catholic hagiography and puritan exemplary lives.’
    • ‘Saint Martin's hagiography portrays him as a powerful exorcist who fought personally with Satan throughout his life.’
    • ‘In spite of its unreliability as a factual source for specific information about individual saints, however, hagiography supplies us with a rich source of information about medieval social and philosophical attitudes.’
    • ‘It has been said that exorcism lay at the heart of the early Christian communities, and it featured prominently in medieval hagiography as the occasion for victories over devils by saints, either personally or at their shrines.’
    • ‘The authors of the work advise against hagiography, pointing out that ‘people don't become saints just because they die.’’
    1. 1.1count noun A biography that treats its subject with undue reverence.
      ‘a hagiography which is designed to serve a political agenda’
      mass noun ‘the result is not hagiography but a fitting monument to a giant of 20th-century music’
      • ‘Since subjectivity is admitted from the outset, the documentary is clearly very far from being a possible hagiography.’
      • ‘Indeed, at times I wasn't sure if I was reading a biography or a hagiography.’
      • ‘To her credit, she has not produced a hagiography.’
      • ‘Elie is clearly sympathetic to and admires each of his subjects, but this is not a hagiography of anyone.’
      • ‘Her biography of Nietzsche is a double hagiography, comic and almost sad in its reflection of her own will to power.’
      • ‘Read a couple of corporate histories -- even though they are blatant hagiographies -- and see which one jibes more with your set of core values.’
      • ‘And so this book does lapse into something of a hagiography.’
      • ‘The first written literature dates from the eleventh century, with the production of religious texts, including translations from Byzantine works, original sermons and other didactic works, and hagiographies.’
      • ‘These hagiographies, just as in the past, are meant to enhance the prestige and authority of the living, present day Zen Masters/roshis.’
      • ‘While hardly subjects of ‘idealizing or idolizing biography,’ as hagiography is defined, those two have had unusually high profiles as risk-takers and rule-breakers.’
      • ‘Why is it that English textbooks, including the one I was sent, are top-heavy with hagiographies of our national leaders?’
      • ‘Though she has an empathy with her subjects, she tries not to idolise them, ensuring that none of the biographies reads like a hagiography.’
      • ‘Many of the films have intimate access to their subjects and while they all celebrate the work of the artists concerned, they are far from hagiographies.’
      • ‘Chapters three and four make a strong case for the use of biographies and hagiographies to help reconstruct the ‘making’ of a saint.’
      • ‘Politics doesn't look at all like the hagiographies I read when I was at the Jesuit monastery, where all the saints were perfect, no venial sins even.’
      • ‘This turns biography into hagiography: the subject isn't a mere artist working through his aesthetic ideas, he's Christ among the doubters and Pharisees.’
      • ‘But I don't think either of them would have wanted me to do a hagiography.’
      • ‘Too many Hollywood biographies are either poorly written, cut and paste hagiographies or spiteful, fantastical hatchet jobs that only prove the authors' distaste for their subject.’
      • ‘But of the spirituality of lower social levels we know little, apart from exemplary stories of the extraordinarily pious or impious found in hagiographies and other didactic works.’
      • ‘Too often scholarly collections devoted to Reformed theology are but hagiographies born of an all-too-nostalgic gaze into the past.’

Pronunciation

hagiography

/ˌhaɡɪˈɒɡrəfi/