How Does a Saint Become a ‘Doctor of the Church’ and Why Is That Title Important Today? Holy Cross Religious Studies Professor Explains

Joanne Pierce, professor of religious studies. Photo by Rob Carlin

The Conversation

Did you know that there are more than 10,000 saints recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, but only a few dozen have been named a "doctor of the church?"

In an article for The Conversation, Joanne Pierce, professor of religious studies at Holy Cross and a medieval Christianity scholar, discusses the meaning behind the title and why it is important today.

"At a time when disease, environmental disasters and wars threaten to divide Christianity and the world, many believe that a saintly 'doctor of unity' [a distinctive honorific title bestowed upon St. Irenaeus of Lyons recently] may well inspire a more hope-filled future," Pierce says.

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