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(bŏl`əndĭsts), group of Jesuits in Belgium, named for their early leader, Jean Bolland, a Flemish Jesuit of the 17th cent. They were charged by the Holy See with compiling an authoritative edition of the lives of the saints, the monumental Acta sanctorum, which is still in progress.



a learned society of Jesuits engaged in publishing the lives of the saints.

The Bollandist society was founded in Antwerp by J. Bol-Iand (1596-I665). ln 1643, Bolland began to publish the collection The Lives of the Saints (Acta Sanctorum) according to the plan of H. Rosweyde. This work is of great importance as a historical source. Setting as their goal the strengthening of the positions of the Catholic Church, the Bollandists played an objectively important role in the development of the study of ancient manuscripts and diplomatics (especially from the 17th century to the beginning of the 18th century; for example, D. Papenbroeck, 1628–1714).

The Bollandists published an enormous number of manuscripts, which have been preserved in the libraries of many European countries. These manuscripts contain valuable material on the history, geography, everyday life, and spiritual culture of the Middle Ages. In addition to publishing the lives of the saints, the Bollandists publish catalogs of manuscript and hagiographic literature. The center of the society (reorganized in 1837) is located in Brussels.


Delehaye, H. L’Oeuvre des bollandistes à travers trois siécles, 2nd ed. Brussels, 1959.
References in periodicals archive ?
Moreover, the appearance of Duchesne's work in the Analecta bollandiana and of Bollandist reviewers in his Bulletin critique gave tangible evidence of cooperative efforts among like-minded critics.
Since the early 17th century, a small group of Jesuits called Bollandists have been editing the Acta Sanctorum, the "Acts of the Saints.
Criticizing recent treatments of saints' vitae by both historians and theorists, he advocates a return to structuralist textual interpretation along the lines of the scholarship of the Bollandist Hippolyte Delehaye earlier this century.
10) Later in the century Martin roundly rebuked the Belgian Jesuit Bollandists because they had begun to use critical techniques in their approach to the lives of the saints, in a manner that the general believed undermined the faith of the Church and the pieties of the faithful.
See also Bibliotheea hagiographiea latina (Brussels: Society of Bollandists, 1898-1899), numbers 8656-69 (hereafter BHL).
6) Although this life has not yet been published by the Bollandists and is largely inaccessible, a fifteenth-century account by Bonino Mombrizio recapitulates this material.
Stow's Bollandists see the victims of Jewish ritual murders as surrogates for the Eucharist, which Jews were always trying to violate.
Stow, a historian long with the University of Haifa, traces the roots of the 800-year belief in the ritual killing by Jews of Christian children that lie behind histories written by Jesuit Bollandists of Antwerp, and Louvain during the late 12th and early 13th centuries.
For Dominic, see Acta sanctorum quotquot toto orbe coluntur, published by the Bollandists (hereafter abbreviated AASS), August, 1, 405; for Anthony of Padua, see RaphaelM.
16) This was the general approach of the Bollandists, editors of the Lives of the Saints, from the mid-seventeenth century to the present.
In the interval he spent almost a year with the Bollandists in Belgium (May 1926 to April 1927) to extend his knowledge of hagiography.
At the same time, his reliance on the Protestant Reformation as a terminal point exaggerates both its influence and theological homogeneity, thereby underrating the critical work of Renaissance authors who foreshadowed the emergence of the Bollandists.