Saints and Cities: Hagiography and Urban History

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 16 June 2024 | Viewed by 328

Special Issue Editor

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of History, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA
Interests: medieval European history; saints; hagiography; cities; urban growth; rivalry; networks of communication and exchange

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Hagiographical sources hold valuable information about urban history. Saints’ cults were often based in cities, or in places that grew into cities; rural shrines attracted pilgrims who came from or passed through cities; texts traveled among urban networks. Hagiographical texts thus reflect urban life from various angles and can, therefore, be used to explore urban history. Moreover, because hagiographical texts sometimes survive from or concern cities otherwise obscure in the historical record, they can be crucial evidence for the urban past. This Special Issue aims to showcase scholarship using hagiographical sources to explore various dimensions of urban history, including (but not limited to) urban growth, politics, economic history, urban society, the lived experience of city dwellers (or visitors), communications, and material culture. While the issue will primarily focus on texts and cities of medieval Europe, neither cities nor hagiography are exclusively European (or medieval) phenomena. Submissions are, therefore, welcome from other contexts as well. This Special issue is dedicated to expanding the body of scholarship demonstrating the value of hagiographical sources in exploring the multifaceted nature of urban history.

Dr. Samantha Kahn Herrick
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • history
  • hagiography
  • saints
  • shrines
  • medieval Europe
  • cities
  • urban history
  • urban life

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Martyr, Straw-Saint, and Most-Barbarous Archtraitor: Debating Henry Garnet in Seventeenth-Century London

Abstract: In 1606 Henry Garnet, English Jesuit and purported leader of the Gunpowder Plot against James I, was executed at the Tower of London. Following his death, numerous hagiographical accounts of his life, including accounts of a miraculous relic recovered from his execution site, began to spread through London’s Catholic community. Though these accounts made it as far as the king’s Privy Chamber, they were soon countered by Protestant publications casting Garnet as a popish traitor. This article examines the hagiographical and anti-hagiographical accounts of Garnet’s life, death, and relic that emerged in London in the years following his execution and argues that the unique urban fabric of London as a desacralized space inhabited by a mixed population of English Protestants, English recusants, and foreign Catholics and Protestants led to the particular popularity of these accounts.

Back to TopTop