In conventional Christian terms, Diana was of course no saint. Yet Diana's status as an icon, before and especially after her tragic death, resonates beatitude. In this thoughtful, illuminating work, cultural critics across disciplines take Diana's 'sainthood' as their motif and explore the nature and source of her iconic role. Diana, it is argued, attained her popular saintly status because she seemed to represent and enshrine values with which huge numbers were able to sympathise. The contributors identify and examine Diana's sainthood, with all its attendant controversies and contradictions. They consider the Diana phenomenon as a symptom of the modern approach to religion, review television and cinema's role in casting her as an icon, study her symbolic status in relation to national and ethnic identities. They follow Diana as she transformed herself into a 'spiritual shopper' in the self-help malls, seeking solutions to her personal problems through the intervention of therapists, gurus and lovers. This invigorating and fresh range of viewpoints succeeds in demonstrating how Diana became a postmodern saint - of media, image, excess, beauty, desire and display - and a saint of the people. Contributors include: Rosalind Brunt, Alvin Cohan, Simon Critchley, Richard Fenn, Paul Heelas.
Diana, the Making of a Media Saint