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Perfect Fools – Folly for Christ's Sake in Catholic and Orthodox Spirituality - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Perfect Fools: Folly for Christ's Sake in Catholic and Orthodox Spirituality

John Saward


This book tells the story of those who have taken Jesus and his apostles at their word and have received from God the rare and terrible charism of holy folly. The book encounters a wide variety of fools for Christ's sake: the wild men of Byzantium, Russia, and Ireland, whose apparently outrageous and provocative behaviour masks a deeper sanctity; the ‘merry men’ of the Middle Ages, God's jongleurs, who proclaim the ‘Gospel of Good Humour’; and finally, those who have gone the darker and more perilous way of being written off by the world as mad and contemptible but who ‘rejoice and are glad’. ... More

Keywords: Jesus, holy folly, Byzantium, Russia, Ireland, Middle Ages, madness, saints, Catholic, Orthodox

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1980 Print ISBN-13: 9780192132307
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192132307.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John Saward, author