The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus: The True Life and Trials of Nicholas of Myra

Adam C. English. Baylor Univ., $24.95 trade paper (245p) ISBN 978-1-60258-634-5
No, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus. But there was a St. Nick: Nicholas of Myra, that is. More than 1,500 years have passed since Nicholas, a religious rebel and social reformer, embarked on a life journey that led him to devote himself to serving the poor and suffering, and to give away much of the inheritance left to him by wealthy parents. Bishop Nicholas soon became a legendary figure, whose exploits—real and imaginary—live on in the jolly old man we call Santa Claus. But unlike Santa, Bishop Nicholas, understanding Christianity’s responsibilities in a hurting world, jeopardized his own security in the service of his fellows. Never safe from his enemies nor understood by his friends, “Nicholas’ life testified to God’s gracious hand protecting and providing.” The author, an associate professor of religion at Campbell University, contends that this mythohistorical figure can best be understood when studied in the context of his milieu, the volatile political and religious atmosphere of 4th-century Greece. He presents this understanding very well. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/10/2012
Release date: 11/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
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