Download Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies by Candida R. Moss PDF

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 tolerating curiosity. during this cutting edge new examine, Candida Moss bargains a greatly new heritage 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, used to be now not a unmarried thought, theology, or perform: there have been various views and understandings of what it intended to die for Christ. starting with an outline of historic Greek, Roman, and Jewish rules approximately dying, 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 exhibits how particular and diverging theologies of martyrdom emerged in several old congregations. within the technique 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 international.

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The relationship between death and memory underscored by Thucydides is typical of 28 Cultural Contexts the period. The anxiety that surrounds slipping from life into obscure death is here soothed; dying well secures one’s memorialization. The good death also provided an opportunity to prove, decisively, one’s worth and manliness. Dying well with dignified self-control was long considered the mark of a good soldier. As Achilles says to Lykaon, when the Trojan prince clasps his knees and begs for mercy: “Come, friend, face your death, you too.

60A, 117E). In the Apology the focus of his attention is not on death itself but on virtue: he states, “a man who is doing good for anything ought not to calculate the chance of living or dying; he ought only to consider whether in doing anything he is doing right or wrong” (Apology 28B). In the Phaedo, as his mind turns to death, Socrates reveals that dying well is the habitus of the philosopher: “the true philosophers practice dying, and death is less fearful to them than to any other man” (Phaed.

Her early speeches invoke the language of romance, but as events unfold her tone grows embittered. As she approaches death and thinks on how she has cast aside marriage and motherhood, she grieves over the “bridal-chamber” of her death and the marriage joys lost (821–60). Her initial passion for death, betrayed by the brashness of her conduct, gives way, in the final analysis, to sorrow and mourning. The romantic imagery is resurrected and reversed at the conclusion of the play in the words of the messenger, whose tale re-dresses Antigone in bridal attire, joined this time to her self-immolating fiancé, Haemon, to whom she is wedded in the house of death.

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