Definition of hagiography in US English:



  • 1The writing of the lives of saints.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She fit a type easily recognized in the annals of hagiography, and it was on that basis that claims for sainthood were made.’
    • ‘Saint Martin's hagiography portrays him as a powerful exorcist who fought personally with Satan throughout his life.’
    • ‘Green did not set out to write hagiography, but I think this is hagiography at its best.’
    • ‘A virtual hagiography has emerged around missionary translations, describing the trying conditions under which these early translators toiled.’
    • ‘Why such fear of modern critical biblical studies and new understandings of hagiography and ecclesiastical history?’
    • ‘The authors of the work advise against hagiography, pointing out that ‘people don't become saints just because they die.’’
    • ‘To say that hagiography was mere propaganda for the saint in question is missing an important point.’
    • ‘Harris suggests this owed much to models from Roman Catholic hagiography and puritan exemplary lives.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Because of the delicate nature of contemporary analysis, there is a penchant to lean in either of two ways: hagiography or unfettered antagonism.’
    • ‘This is based on references in Irish hagiography to belts having been preserved as relics of the saints who wore them.’
    • ‘Often, such literature is not hagiography, but presents life that falls short of human virtues.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was certainly no cardboard figure and no amount of hagiography has succeeded in making him a saint.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Consequently, ‘structures of identity’ are revealed that hover between ‘autobiography, hagiography, sanctity and art.’’
    1. 1.1derogatory Adulatory writing about another person.
      • ‘His only real strength is the hagiography that was carefully cultivated after the attacks.’
      • ‘So, the hagiography was good only to wrap the rotten mackerel of the administration.’
      • ‘But it matters in a different way too; it makes a difference in the hagiography which pseudo-journalists have been peddling.’
      • ‘Yet that view would detract from the hagiography.’
      • ‘Most of the subjects I've written about have a lot of myths around them and I'm always very interested in coming between the myth, the hagiography and the denigration, and seeing what the truth might be.’
    2. 1.2 Biography that idealizes its subject.
      ‘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’
      • ‘Read a couple of corporate histories -- even though they are blatant hagiographies -- and see which one jibes more with your set of core values.’
      • ‘To her credit, she has not produced a hagiography.’
      • ‘But I don't think either of them would have wanted me to do a hagiography.’
      • ‘And so this book does lapse into something of a hagiography.’
      • ‘Chapters three and four make a strong case for the use of biographies and hagiographies to help reconstruct the ‘making’ of a saint.’
      • ‘Indeed, at times I wasn't sure if I was reading a biography or a hagiography.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘Since subjectivity is admitted from the outset, the documentary is clearly very far from being a possible hagiography.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Elie is clearly sympathetic to and admires each of his subjects, but this is not a hagiography of anyone.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Why is it that English textbooks, including the one I was sent, are top-heavy with hagiographies of our national leaders?’
      • ‘Too often scholarly collections devoted to Reformed theology are but hagiographies born of an all-too-nostalgic gaze into the past.’
      • ‘Her biography of Nietzsche is a double hagiography, comic and almost sad in its reflection of her own will to power.’