Mother Teresa: The Saint and Her Nation

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2020 M11 12 - 296 pages

A personality of Mother Teresa's calibre and global reach does not come about by chance. To provide a well-rounded portrait of this influential figure, this book approaches her in the context of her familial background and ethnic, cultural and spiritual milieus. Her life and work are explored in the light of newly-discovered information about her family, the Albanian nation's spiritual tradition before and after the advent of Christianity, and the impact of the Vatican and other influential powers on her people since the early Middle Ages.
Focusing on her traumas, ordeals and achievements as a private individual and a public missionary, and her complex spirituality, this book contends that Mother Teresa's life and her nation's history, especially her countrymen's relationship with Roman Catholicism, are interconnected. Unravelling this interconnectedness is essential to understanding how this modern spiritual and humanitarian icon has come to epitomise her ancient nation's cultural and spiritual DNA.

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About the author (2020)

Educated at Cairo University and Durham University, Gzim Alpion lectured at the Universities of Huddersfield, Sheffield Hallam, and Newman prior to his appointment in 2002 in the Department of Sociology at the University of Birmingham. He joined the Department of Political Science and International Studies in 2010 and the Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology in 2016.
Gzim's specializations encompass the sociology of religion, nationalism, fame, race, media, film and authorship. He is considered 'the most authoritative English-language author' on St Teresa of Calcutta and 'the founder of Mother Teresa Studies'.
In his recent publications Gzim has explored the concept of charism/a from a sociological and public theology perspective, Enoch Powell's populist rhetoric in the context of the eugenics discourse, and the reasons for the absence of modern spiritual icons in celebrity studies.
Gzim is currently developing the idea of 'fame capital' as a variable in an intranational and international context, examining 'The Dark Night of the Soul' phenomenon from a sociological perspective, and exploring the role of religion in fabricating national identity.

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