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.
About the Author:
Paul Middleton is Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of Chester, UK. He has published extensively on the topic of martyrdom, especially in early Christianity, as well as in Judaism and Islam. He is the author of Radical Martyrdom and Cosmic Conflict in Early Christianity; Martyrdom: A Guide for the Perplexed; and The Violence of the Lamb: Martyrs as Agents of Divine Judgement in the Book of Revelation.