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Early Christian Martyr Stories

Author : Bryan M. Litfin
ISBN : 9781441220073
Genre : Religion
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Personal narratives are powerful instruments for teaching, both for conveying information and for forming character. The martyrdom accounts preserved in the literature of early Christianity are especially intense and dramatic. However, these narratives are not readily available and are often written in intimidating prose, making them largely inaccessible for the average reader. This introductory text brings together key early Christian martyrdom stories in a single volume, offering new, easy-to-read translations and expert commentary. An introduction and explanatory notes accompany each translation. The book not only provides a vivid window into the world of early Christianity but also offers spiritual encouragement and inspiration for Christian life today.

Martyrdom And Memory

Author : Elizabeth Castelli
ISBN : 9780231503440
Genre : Religion
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Martyrs are produced, Elizabeth Castelli suggests, not by the lived experience of particular historical individuals but by the stories that are later told about them. And the formulaic character of stories about past suffering paradoxically serves specific theological, cultural, or political ends in the present. Martyrdom and Memory explores the central role of persecution in the early development of Christian ideas, institutions, and cultural forms and shows how the legacy of Christian martyrdom plays out in today's world. In the pre-Constantinian imperial period, the conflict between Roman imperial powers and the subject Christian population hinged on competing interpretations of power, submission, resistance, and victory. This book highlights how both Roman and Christian notions of law and piety deployed the same forms of censure and critique, each accusing the other of deviations from governing conventions of gender, reason, and religion. Using Maurice Halbwachs's theoretical framework of collective memory and a wide range of Christian sources—autobiographical writings, martyrologies and saints'lives, sermons, art objects, pilgrimage souvenirs, and polemics about spectacle—Castelli shows that the writings of early Christians aimed to create public and ideologically potent accounts of martyrdom. The martyr's story becomes a "usable past" and a "living tradition" for Christian communities and an especially effective vehicle for transmitting ideas about gender, power, and sanctity. An unlikely legacy of early Christian martyrdom is the emergence of modern "martyr cults" in the wake of the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School. Focusing specifically on the martyr cult associated with one of the victims, Martyrdom and Memory argues that the Columbine story dramatically expresses the ongoing power of collective memory constructed around a process of rendering tragic suffering redemptive and meaningful. In the wake of Columbine and other contemporary legacies of martyrdom's ethical ambivalence, the global impact of Christian culture making in the early twenty-first century cannot be ignored. For as the last century's secularist hypothesis sits in the wings, "religion" returns to center stage with one of this drama's most contentious yet riveting stars: the martyr.

Wiley Blackwell Companion To Christian Martyrdom

Author : Paul Middleton
ISBN : 9781119099826
Genre : Religion
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A unique, wide-ranging volume exploring the historical, religious, cultural, political, and social aspects of Christian martyrdom Although a well-studied and researched topic in early Christianity, martyrdom had become a relatively neglected subject of scholarship by the latter half of the 20th century. However, in the years following the attack on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, the study of martyrdom has experienced a remarkable resurgence. Heightened cultural, religious, and political debates about Islamic martyrdom have, in a large part, prompted increased interest in the role of martyrdom in the Christian tradition. The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Christian Martyrdom is a comprehensive examination of the phenomenon from its beginnings to its role in the present day. This timely volume presents essays written by 30 prominent scholars that explore the fundamental concepts, key questions, and contemporary debates surrounding martyrdom in Christianity. Broad in scope, this volume explores topics ranging from the origins, influences, and theology of martyrdom in the early church, with particular emphasis placed on the Martyr Acts, to contemporary issues of gender, identity construction, and the place of martyrdom in the modern church. Essays address the role of martyrdom after the establishment of Christendom, especially its crucial contribution during and after the Reformation period in the development of Christian and European national-building, as well as its role in forming Christian identities in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. This important contribution to Christian scholarship: Offers the first comprehensive reference work to examine the topic of martyrdom throughout Christian history Includes an exploration of martyrdom and its links to traditions in Judaism and Islam Covers extensive geographical zones, time periods, and perspectives Provides topical commentary on Islamic martyrdom and its parallels to the Christian church Discusses hotly debated topics such as the extent of the Roman persecution of early Christians The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Christian Martyrdom is an invaluable resource for scholars and students of religious studies, theology, and Christian history, as well as readers with interest in the topic of Christian martyrdom.

The Myth Of Persecution

Author : Candida Moss
ISBN : 9780062104540
Genre : Religion
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In The Myth of Persecution, Candida Moss, a leading expert on early Christianity, reveals how the early church exaggerated, invented, and forged stories of Christian martyrs and how the dangerous legacy of a martyrdom complex is employed today to silence dissent and galvanize a new generation of culture warriors. According to cherished church tradition and popular belief, before the Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal in the fourth century, early Christians were systematically persecuted by a brutal Roman Empire intent on their destruction. As the story goes, vast numbers of believers were thrown to the lions, tortured, or burned alive because they refused to renounce Christ. These saints, Christianity's inspirational heroes, are still venerated today. Moss, however, exposes that the "Age of Martyrs" is a fiction—there was no sustained 300-year-long effort by the Romans to persecute Christians. Instead, these stories were pious exaggerations; highly stylized rewritings of Jewish, Greek, and Roman noble death traditions; and even forgeries designed to marginalize heretics, inspire the faithful, and fund churches. The traditional story of persecution is still taught in Sunday school classes, celebrated in sermons, and employed by church leaders, politicians, and media pundits who insist that Christians were—and always will be—persecuted by a hostile, secular world. While violence against Christians does occur in select parts of the world today, the rhetoric of persecution is both misleading and rooted in an inaccurate history of the early church. Moss urges modern Christians to abandon the conspiratorial assumption that the world is out to get Christians and, rather, embrace the consolation, moral instruction, and spiritual guidance that these martyrdom stories provide.

Redeemed Bodies

Author : Gail Corrington Streete
ISBN : 9780664233297
Genre : Religion
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Why do religious people choose paths that lead to their deaths as martyrs? Why do some who are killed for their faith become known and revered while others do not? Gail Streete asks these important and disturbing questions in the context of early Christianity, looking at the stories of martyred women such as Thecla, Perpetua, and Felicitas--women whose stories helped shape Christian faith for centuries, yet are all but forgotten in the modern world. Streete reclaims these stories and relates them to tragic instances of martyrdom in our own world, pulling from stories as diverse as the victims of Columbine and female suicide attackers in the Muslim world. What do their deaths mean, and why do we find their stories so moving?

The Ultimate Sacrifice

Author : Clayton Fordahl
ISBN : 9781000046434
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 85. 25 MB
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This book presents an interpretive, macro-historical, and sociological account of martyrdom. Moving away from the notion of martyrdom as an object of individual behavior and seeing it instead as a significant cultural work performed by communities in the wake of a violent death, it provides a novel interpretation of Western political and religious history. In addition to thus redressing the disproportionate attention given to the concept’s relationship to Islam, the author offers a new perspective on two defining historical processes: secularization and the rise of modern sovereignty in the form of the nation-state. An innovative analysis of the role of sacrifice in contemporary culture, which constitutes a timely critique of long-dominant theories of disenchantment and the privatization of religion, The Ultimate Sacrifice will appeal to sociologists and social theorists with interests in religion, politics, and the connection between the two.

Christian Martyrdom In Late Antiquity 300 450 Ad

Author : Peter Gemeinhardt
ISBN : 9783110263527
Genre : Religion
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The present volume’s focus lies on the formation of a multifaceted discourse on Christian martyrdom in Late Antiquity. While martyrdom accounts remain a central means of defining Christian identity, new literary genres emerge, e.g., the Lives of Saints (Athanasius on Antony), sermons (the Cappadocians), hymns (Prudentius). Authors like Eusebius of Caesarea and Augustine employ martyrological language and motifs in their writings, while beyond the borders of the Roman Empire, new martyrs’ narratives can be found. The volume thus enlarges and specifies our knowledge of this important Christian discourse.

Early Christian Discourses On Jesus Prayer At Gethsemane

Author : Karl Olav Sandnes
ISBN : 9789004309647
Genre : Religion
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In the light of Jesus’s ministry as a whole, his agonized prayer (Gethsemane) is troublesome. He failed to meet the standards of dying “like a man.” How did the first centuries of Christians come to terms with this embarrassing story?

Ancient Christian Martyrdom

Author : Candida R. Moss
ISBN : 9780300154665
Genre : Religion
File Size : 35. 40 MB
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The importance of martyrdom for the spread of Christianity in the first centuries of the Common Era is a question of enduring interest. In this innovative new study, Candida Moss offers a radically new history of martyrdom in the first and second centuries that challenges traditional understandings of the spread of Christianity and rethinks the nature of Christian martyrdom itself. Martyrdom, Moss shows, was not a single idea, theology, or practice: there were diverse perspectives and understandings of what it meant to die for Christ. Beginning with an overview of ancient Greek, Roman, and Jewish ideas about death, Moss demonstrates that there were many cultural contexts within which early Christian views of martyrdom were very much at home. She then shows how distinctive and diverging theologies of martyrdom emerged in different ancient congregations. In the process she reexamines the authenticity of early Christian stories about martyrs and calls into question the dominant scholarly narrative about the spread of martyrdom in the ancient world.

Spectacles Of Empire

Author : Christopher A. Frilingos
ISBN : 9780812201970
Genre : Religion
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The book of Revelation presents a daunting picture of the destruction of the world, complete with clashing gods, a multiheaded beast, armies of heaven, and the final judgment of mankind. The bizarre conclusion to the New Testament is routinely cited as an example of the early Christian renunciation of the might and values of Rome. But Christopher A. Frilingos contends that Revelation's relationship to its ancient environment was a rather more complex one. In Spectacles of Empire he argues that the public displays of the Roman Empire—the games of the arena, the execution of criminals, the civic veneration of the emperor—offer a plausible context for reading Revelation. Like the spectacles that attracted audiences from one end of the Mediterranean Sea to the other, Revelation shares a preoccupation with matters of spectatorship, domination, and masculinity. Scholars have long noted that in promising a complete reversal of fortune to an oppressed minority, Revelation has provided inspiration to Christians of all kinds, from liberation theologians protesting globalization to the medieval Apostolic Brethren facing death at the stake. But Frilingos approaches the Apocalypse from a different angle, arguing that Revelation was not merely a rejection of the Roman world in favor of a Christian one; rather, its visions of monsters and martyrs were the product of an empire whose subjects were trained to dominate the threatening "other." By comparing images in Revelation to those in other Roman-era literature, such as Greek romances and martyr accounts, Frilingos reveals a society preoccupied with seeing and being seen. At the same time, he shows how Revelation calls attention to both the risk and the allure of taking in a show in a society which emphasized the careful scrutiny of one's friends, enemies, and self. Ancient spectators, Frilingos notes, whether seated in an arena or standing at a distance as Babylon burned, frequently discovered that they themselves had become part of the performance.

Christian Martyrdom In Russia

Author : Vladimir Grigorʹevich Chertkov
Genre : Dukhobors
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Donatist Martyr Stories

Author : Maureen A. Tilley
ISBN : 0853239312
Genre : Religion
File Size : 43. 28 MB
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The Donatist Church of North Africa was known as "the Church of the Martyrs", yet its martyr stories are virtually unknown. The stories included in this book provide a unique opportunity to glimpse the daily life of the church.

Early Christians Of 21st Century

Author : Anto Akkara
ISBN : LCCN:2013319781
Genre : Christian life
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The Secrets Of The Bastille; A Story Of The Times Of Madame De Pompadour

Author : William Parmiter Kent
ISBN : MINN:31951002310356V
Genre :
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Getting To Know The Church Fathers

Author : Bryan M. Litfin
ISBN : 9781493404780
Genre : Religion
File Size : 88. 9 MB
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A Trusted Introduction to the Church Fathers This concise introduction to the church fathers connects evangelical students and readers to twelve key figures from the early church. Bryan Litfin engages readers with actual people, not just abstract doctrines or impersonal events, to help them understand the fathers as spiritual ancestors in the faith. The first edition has been well received and widely used. This updated and revised edition adds chapters on Ephrem of Syria and Patrick of Ireland. The book requires no previous knowledge of the patristic period and includes original, easy-to-read translations that give a brief taste of each writer's thought.

Early Christian Fathers

Author : Cyril Richardson
ISBN : 9780684829517
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 61. 86 MB
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This selection of writings from early church leaders includes work by Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Athenagoras, and Justin Martyr.Long recognized for the quality of its translations, introductions, explanatory notes, and indexes, the Library of Christian Classics provides scholars and students with modern English translations of some of the most significant Christian theological texts in history. Through these works--each written prior to the end of the sixteenth century--contemporary readers are able to engage the ideas that have shaped Christian theology and the church through the centuries.

Dying To Be Men

Author : L. Stephanie Cobb
ISBN : 9780231518208
Genre : Religion
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At once brave and athletic, virtuous and modest, female martyrs in the second and third centuries were depicted as self-possessed gladiators who at the same time exhibited the quintessentially "womanly" qualities of modesty, fertility, and beauty. L. Stephanie Cobb explores the double embodiment of "male" and "female" gender ideals in these figures, connecting them to Greco-Roman virtues and the construction of Christian group identities. Both male and female martyrs conducted their battles in the amphitheater, a masculine environment that enabled the divine combatants to showcase their strength, virility, and volition. These Christian martyr accounts also illustrated masculinity through the language of justice, resistance to persuasion, and-more subtly but most effectively-the juxtaposition of "unmanly" individuals (usually slaves, the old, or the young) with those at the height of male maturity and accomplishment (such as the governor or the proconsul). Imbuing female martyrs with the same strengths as their male counterparts served a vital function in Christian communities. Faced with the possibility of persecution, Christians sought to inspire both men and women to be braver than pagan and Jewish men. Yet within the community itself, traditional gender roles had to be maintained, and despite the call to be manly, Christian women were expected to remain womanly in relation to the men of their faith. Complicating our understanding of the social freedoms enjoyed by early Christian women, Cobb's investigation reveals the dual function of gendered language in martyr texts and its importance in laying claim to social power.

Christian Martyrdom

Author : Edward L. Smither
ISBN : 9781725253834
Genre : Religion
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Twenty-first-century Christians in the West crave comfort, affluence, freedom from pain, and even power. However, the story of global Christianity--from Christ, the early church, right up to the present day--has been shaped by suffering and even martyrdom. In this short book Edward Smither explores martyrdom both biblically and historically. He defends three claims: in martyrdom we verbally bear witness to Christ, we raise a prophetic voice, and we worship. Christians today, argues Smither, especially those in the West, should welcome suffering and martyrdom as a normal part of the Christian life.

Martyr Of The Catacombs

Author : Anonymous Christian
ISBN : 0825496721
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 61. 61 MB
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Told through fictional characters, Martyr of the Catacombs will help the reader understand the history of the early church and the severe persecution it experienced.

Sinners And Saints

Author : Derek Cooper
ISBN : 9780825444074
Genre : Religion
File Size : 45. 58 MB
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Where most books dance around the distasteful details of the church's past, this one puts a spotlight on the negative and positive alike. With one ear attuned to the early church and another to contemporary culture, this book addresses the growing concerns both Christians and non-Christians have about how transparent the church has been about its roots. This book offers a forthright depiction of early Christianity, beginning with the apostles and ending after the time of Augustine. Sinners and Saints is the first of a four-volume series that humanizes the history of Christianity by honestly examining the actions, doctrines, decisions, groups, movements, and practices of past Christians. This book's assessment helps the reader accurately understand Christianity's background and recognize how it continues to shape the present.

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