By Candida R. Moss
The significance of martyrdom for the unfold of Christianity within the first centuries of the typical period is a question of putting up with curiosity. during this cutting edge new research, Candida Moss bargains a considerably new historical past of martyrdom within the first and moment centuries that demanding situations conventional understandings of the unfold of Christianity and rethinks the character of Christian martyrdom itself. Martyrdom, Moss indicates, was once no longer a unmarried thought, theology, or perform: there have been diversified views and understandings of what it intended to die for Christ. starting with an outline of historical Greek, Roman, and Jewish rules approximately demise, Moss demonstrates that there have been many cultural contexts in which early Christian perspectives of martyrdom have been a great deal at domestic. She then indicates how precise and diverging theologies of martyrdom emerged in numerous historical congregations. within the approach she reexamines the authenticity of early Christian tales approximately martyrs and calls into query the dominant scholarly narrative in regards to the unfold of martyrdom within the historical global.
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Extra info for Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies and Traditions
Edited documents relying upon eyewitness reports and/or texts composed by the martyrs themselves 4. Passiones: historical romances based on and containing historical information 5. Purely fictional compositions 6. “Deceptive forgeries” The quest for the historical martyr has rested in part on the conviction that underlying the martyr acts are official court records detailing the martyr’s words. These court documents were believed to have been obtained by early Christians and used as sources for the composition of martyr acts.
This chapter uses the writings of Clement of Alexandria to deconstruct the scholarly binary between orthodox pro-martyrdom and Gnostic anti-martyrdom attitudes in the early church and suggest that the discourse of martyrdom was a valuable tool in ancient claims to authority. It further seeks to reset debates about “true martyrdom” within broader claims to authority, doctrinal discussions, and ecclesiastical scuffles in the early church. 66 I do not intend to reproduce either a false sense of geographical isolation or the rigid provincial boundaries that this organization presumes.
The contortion of the philosopher’s body circumvented the attempts of the tyrant to bend the philosopher’s will. DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR If death brought glory to the heroes of ancient Greece, it could also serve as an alternative to shame and dishonor. To return briefly to the heroes of Troy, a classic example of such a death is found in the suicide of the Greek hero and warrior Ajax. According to the myths, after the death of Achilles, Ajax and Odysseus fought over who would be awarded Achilles’s legendary armor.