Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Comparative Religion

First Advisor

Dr. Nancy A. Falk

Second Advisor

Dr. David Ede

Third Advisor

Dr. Frank Gross

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


In Christianity and Islam, there exists a practice called a "cult of saints," which individuals partake in rituals of veneration, hopes of intercession, and revere specific times, objects and spaces as sacred. The purpose of this work is to examine the role and relationship of the Christian saint and the Islamic wali to the individuals that venerate them.

This work is divided into two parts. The first part will summarize the character-istics of charismatic figures called "saint" and "wali" present in the religious tradition of Roman Catholic Christianity and Islam. The second part of this work will outline the stages of individual faith development established by James Fowler. I will then attempt to demonstrate how the veneration and association with saints satisfies certain needs present in the stages of faith development.

The methodology of the study is a survey of salient features on the cult of saints from Roman Catholic Christianity and Islam and a detailed study of Fowler's description of faith development.

Off-campus Download