Roy Flechner's Study of St Patrick awarded Hagiography Society Book Prize
The School congratulates Roy on winning the Hagiography Society Book award for Saint Patrick Retold (Saint Patrick Retold | Princeton University Press).
His study is as much a biography of Saint Patrick as it is a history of the late antique insular world as seen through Patrick's eyes and as he might have interpreted it through the many facets of his cultural identity: as a Briton, as a Roman, and as an immigrant to Ireland who could comment on Irish society with both an insider's and outsider's perspective. It shows Patrick as he is depicted in his own words, Patrick as inferred from the circumstances of his immediate historical contexts, and Patrick as a figure of veneration whose saintly image developed in different ways over a millennium and a half: a figure told and retold by and for every generation. In awarding the prize the judges noted the author's 'sharp-sighted re-interpretations of familiar texts, his willingness to tackle big questions of historical scholarship, his sense of humor and, above all, his ability to make the religious past interesting to non-specialists'.