Mother Teresa: Saint or Celebrity?

Stuart Derbyshire reviews the book by Gezim Albion at Spiked Online:

Mother_teresaMother Teresa is arguably the most famous religious icon of the late twentieth century. Her legacy and work continue to generate huge levels of debate and interest. Gezim Alpion’s book Mother Teresa: Saint or Celebrity?, which seeks to address the nature of her fame, celebrity and devotion to faith, is unique in locating the appeal of Mother Teresa within today’s broader celebrity culture. He also provides previously unknown and quite striking information about her personal life.

For Alpion, celebrity culture is a modern form of religion and Mother Teresa was the ultimate religious celebrity of the modern era. Unlike the many saints recognised by the Catholic Church, Mother Teresa’s apparent sanctity took root and flourished during her lifetime. Her beatification in 2003, just six years after her death, propelled her further towards actual sainthood. Alpion points out that the beatification of such a contemporary figure was as much a consequence of her growing stardom as it was of her devoted religious practice.

More here.