This reflection derives from a discussion that took place at the 2018 “Comparative Hagiology” pre-conference workshop of the American Academy of Religion. The goal during that meeting was to articulate points of dialogue for the comparison of exemplary figures in various historic, geographic, and faith traditions. Here, I offer an open-ended descriptive index as a heuristic device for beginning a comparative study, whether collaborative or single-authored. After positioning my inquiry from within my own field of study, medieval European Christianity, I offer a brief “test case” for the portability of the index by using its terms to think through a text that is widely-regarded within my subfield as deeply complicated and difficult to interpret, the Life of Christina Mirabilis
. I conclude by re-describing some of the terms of the index and by inviting further re-description.
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