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The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus: The True Life and Trials of Nicholas of Myra

by

The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus: The True Life and Trials of Nicholas of Myra Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

With his rosy cheeks and matching red suit--and ever-present elf and reindeer companions--Santa Claus may be the most identifiable of fantastical characters. But what do we really know of jolly old Saint Nicholas, "patron saint" of Christmastime? Ask about the human behind the suit, and the tale we know so well quickly fades into myth and folklore.

In The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus, religious historian Adam English tells the true and compelling tale of Saint Nicholas, bishop of Myra. Around the fourth century in what is now Turkey, a boy of humble circumstance became a man revered for his many virtues. Chief among them was dealing generously with his possessions, once lifting an entire family out of poverty with a single--and secret--gift of gold, so legend tells. Yet he was much more than virtuous. As English reveals, Saint Nicholas was of integral influence in events that would significantly impact the history and development of the Christian church, including the Council of Nicaea, the destruction of the temple to Artemis in Myra, and a miraculous rescue of three falsely accused military officers. And Nicholas became the patron saint of children and sailors, merchants and thieves, as well as France, Russia, Greece, and myriad others.

Weaving together the best historical and archaeological evidence available with the folklore and legends handed down through generations, English creates a stunning image of this much venerated Christian saint. With prose as enjoyable as it is informative, he shows why the life--and death--of Nicholas of Myra so radically influenced the formation of Western history and Christian thought, and did so in ways many have never realized.

Review:

"No, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus. But there was a St. Nick: Nicholas of Myra, that is. More than 1,500 years have passed since Nicholas, a religious rebel and social reformer, embarked on a life journey that led him to devote himself to serving the poor and suffering, and to give away much of the inheritance left to him by wealthy parents. Bishop Nicholas soon became a legendary figure, whose exploits — real and imaginary — live on in the jolly old man we call Santa Claus. But unlike Santa, Bishop Nicholas, understanding Christianity's responsibilities in a hurting world, jeopardized his own security in the service of his fellows. Never safe from his enemies nor understood by his friends, 'Nicholas' life testified to God's gracious hand protecting and providing.' The author, an associate professor of religion at Campbell University, contends that this mythohistorical figure can best be understood when studied in the context of his milieu, the volatile political and religious atmosphere of 4th-century Greece. He presents this understanding very well." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

The real story of Santa--and why he became a Saint

About the Author

Adam C. English is Associate Professor of Religion at Campbell University where he teaches on the philosophy of religion, constructive theology, and the history of Christian thought. He lives near Raleigh, North Carolina.

Table of Contents

1. Finding St. Nicholas

2. Out of a Dying World Comes a Light

3. Three Gifts and One Election

4. The Work of Victory

5. Riots, Beheadings, and Other Near Misfortunes

6. Death Is Only the Beginning

Notes

Recommended Readings

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9781602586345
Author:
English, Adam C.
Publisher:
Baylor University Press
Subject:
Church History
Subject:
Santa claus
Subject:
St. Nick
Subject:
St. Nicholas
Subject:
St. Nicholas of Myra
Subject:
Council of Nicea
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20121131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
12 b/w images
Pages:
242
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Religion » Christianity » Christmas
Religion » Christianity » Church History » General
Religion » Christianity » Saints
Religion » Christianity » Saints and Sainthood
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus: The True Life and Trials of Nicholas of Myra New Hardcover
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$36.75 In Stock
Product details 242 pages Baylor University Press - English 9781602586345 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "No, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus. But there was a St. Nick: Nicholas of Myra, that is. More than 1,500 years have passed since Nicholas, a religious rebel and social reformer, embarked on a life journey that led him to devote himself to serving the poor and suffering, and to give away much of the inheritance left to him by wealthy parents. Bishop Nicholas soon became a legendary figure, whose exploits — real and imaginary — live on in the jolly old man we call Santa Claus. But unlike Santa, Bishop Nicholas, understanding Christianity's responsibilities in a hurting world, jeopardized his own security in the service of his fellows. Never safe from his enemies nor understood by his friends, 'Nicholas' life testified to God's gracious hand protecting and providing.' The author, an associate professor of religion at Campbell University, contends that this mythohistorical figure can best be understood when studied in the context of his milieu, the volatile political and religious atmosphere of 4th-century Greece. He presents this understanding very well." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , The real story of Santa--and why he became a Saint
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