“On Mary’s word, Joseph accepted, however much through a glass darkly, that the Annunciation was the Incarnation.”
1. Premise: the known and beyond
Hagiography, like any other kind of biography, comes in different shapes. As a documentary effort, it takes the form of a narrative which grounds the account in information that is traceable to specific sources. The documentary nature of this approach makes it the indispensable antecedent for all subsequent reflections, as is the case with any kind of history writing. It begins with a critical examination of the sources in their own import and in terms of the broader context from which they stem. As a chronicle of characters and events, it weaves the evidence into an explicit, chronologically arranged, record. It exposes known facts to a new critical reading and proposes variations on already established interpretations. It may develop into a search for new evidence and discover correlated facts that can be added to those already known.
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