chapter  1
26 Pages

Mother Teresa and Celebrity Culture

In this chapter I assess Mother Teresa’s celebrity status in the context of contemporary celebrity culture. In the first part of the chapter I identify some of the changes ‘fame’ and ‘status’ went through in the West from the start of the seventeenth century. I then assess Mother Teresa’s fame from three perspectives: subjectivist, structuralist and post-structuralist. Of particular interest in this chapter is the origin of the discourse about Mother Teresa’s saintly nature and the information provided about those who originated, endorsed and sustained it. Also in this chapter, I identify what Mother Teresa had in common with celebrities from the world of entertainment, politics and sport as well as what set her apart from them.