Introduction: Blessed Bones * 1. Holy Bodies: Relics and the Roman Catacombs * 2. The Church Triumphant: Constructing the Catacomb Saints * 3. Communal Property: Jeweled Skeletons and Civic Identity 4. The Mighty Will Fall: The End of the Reign of the Catacomb Saints Notes, Acknowledgments, List of Sites, Index
Following the success of The Empire of Death, which has attracted a global cult following, Heavenly Bodies brings the 'catacomb saints' out of the darkness for the first time
Paul Koudounaris has a doctorate in Art History from the University of California and has written widely on European ossuaries and charnel houses for both academic and popular journals.
'It's utterly spectacular, hugely interesting and almost
unbelievable' - All About History
'Bling from the edges of eternity' - Annie Lennox
'The grinning, bejewelled catacomb saints who stare our from the pages of Koudounaris challenge us to engage in deeper exercises, spiritual and intellectual; to recreate lost forms of devotional life; to understand how they inspired and deformed the study of the Christian past; and to imagine what it felt like to believe that the gauze-wrapped skeleton in your church was a time lord, whose sight and touch could help to save your soul' - The London Review of Books
'Suitable for goths, art historians and everyone in between ... Incredible relics' - Book Depository