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Radical Martyrdom and Cosmic Conflict in Early Christianity

Hardback|Aug 2006
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$210.00

In the early Church, several views on martyrdom co-existed. The `orthodox' position, generally accepted by scholars, was that a Christian should choose martyrdom rather than deny the Faith, but should not, on any account, court death. Although it has been...


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In the early Church, several views on martyrdom co-existed. The `orthodox' position, generally accepted by scholars, was that a Christian should choose martyrdom rather than deny the Faith, but should not, on any account, court death. Although it has been recognized that some in the early Church did in fact seek out death, by giving themselves over to arrest, most scholars have dismissed these martyrs as `deviant,' `heretical,' and not displaying `the normal Christian attitude to martyrdom.' Therefore, instances of volitional, or radical martyrdom, have been largely ignored in scholarly investigation into the theology and origins of Christian martyrdom. However, this project argues that, far from being a deviant strand of early Christianity, radical martyrdoom was a significant, and widely held idealized form of Christ-devotion in the late first to early third centuries. Since scholars have largely carried out historical and theological investigations without reference to radical martyrdom, their conclusions are incomplete. This project aims to make up for this omission, re-examining the presentation, theology, and origins of Christian martyrdom up to the beginning of the Decian persecutions. Christian martyrdom is placed within the heritage of Jewish War tradition, with each martyr making an important contribution to the cosmic conflict between Satan and God.
-Publisher


Several view of martyrdom co-existed in the early Church. The 'orthodox' position, generally accepted by scholars, was that a Christian should choose martyrdom rather than deny the Faith, but should not, on any account, court death. Although it has been recognised that some in the early Church did seek a glorified death, by giving themselves over to arrest, most scholars have dismissed such acts as differing from 'the accepted attitude to martyrdom' in the early Church. Therefore, instances of volitional, or radical martyrdom, have been largely overlooked or sidelined in scholarly investigations into the theology and origins of Christian martyrdom.Paul Middleton argues that, far from being a deviant strand of early Christianity, 'radical martyrdom' was a significant, and widely held idealised form of devotion in the late first to early third centuries. Christian martyrdom is placed within the heritage of Jewish War tradition, with each martyr making an important contribution to the cosmic conflict between Satan and God.Radical Martyrdomre-examines the presentation, theology, and origins of Christian martyrdom up to the beginning of the Decian persecutions in the light of new perspectives on the subject.

-Publisher

PRODUCT DETAIL
  • Catalogue Code 271083
  • Product Code 9780567041647
  • ISBN 0567041646
  • EAN 9780567041647
  • Pages 224
  • Department Academic
  • Category Biblical Studies
  • Sub-Category New Testament
  • Publisher T&t Clark
  • Publication Date Aug 2006
  • Dimensions 254 x 152 x 22mm
  • Weight 0.470kg

Paul Middleton

Paul Middleton (PhD., University of Edinburgh, FRSA) is Teaching Fellow in New Testament Studies and Assistant Director of Open Learning Theology at the University of Wales, Lampeter in the UK. His publications include Radical Martyrdom and Cosmic Conflict in Early Christianity (LNTS 307; T & T Clark, 2006) and Martyrdom: A Guide for the Perplexed (T & T Clark, 2008)
Kooorng - Editorial Review.

  • Introduction: Making Martyrs.; 1. Radical Martyrdom In Early Christian Heterodoxy.; 2. Drawing Battle Lines: Christianity And Rome.; 3. Towards A Christian Theology Of Martyrdom.; 4. The Origins Of Christian Martyrdom.; 5. Radical Martyrdom And Cosmic Conflict In The New Testament.

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