Archives For Martyrdom

 

Amazon is currently running The Big Deal ebook sale again.
We pick the best ebooks from this sale that are available for $3.99 or less!!!

CLICK HERE to browse the full The Big Deal sale of over 400 titles

Prices good through Dec. 21…

*** $2.99

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships

*** $1.99

Martyrdom: A Very Short Introduction

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St. Ignatius of Antioch

Today is the Feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch, who was martyred near the end of the first century.

Here is the story of his martyrdom, from The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Volume 1).
[ Which is available as a FREE ebook from CCEL ]

This story was told and recorded for the encouragement and empowerment of the Church of that day, who were faced with widespread persecution.  Not all details in this story should be taken as factual, although the basic story of how Ignatius is martyred is usually accepted as fact.

 

The Martyrdom of
St. Ignatius of Antioch   

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“The Fundamentally Local Nature of Theology?

A Review of
The Other Christs:

Imitating Jesus in Ancient Christian Ideologies of Martyrdom
.
By Candida Moss
.

Reviewed by Chris Smith.


The Other Christs:
Imitating Jesus in Ancient Christian Ideologies of Martyrdom
.
Candida Moss
.
Hardback: Oxford UP, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

THE OTHER CHRISTS - Candida MossFor many years now, I have been intrigued by the martyrs of the Early Church era, their faith that did not waiver amidst threats of death and their significance in the life of the Church.  Thus, I was excited when I heard about Oxford University Press’s release of the new book The Other Christs: Imitating Jesus in Ancient Christian Ideologies of Martyrdom by Candida Moss, a professor of theology at Notre Dame.  This new work is a study of the “Acts of the Martyrs,” the mostly extra-canonical accounts of the deaths of the martyrs, and seeks to understand “the presentation of the martyrs in the early church, both the ways that the martyr acts interpret the person and death of Jesus and the manner in which this interpretation can inform our understanding of martyrdom in early Christianity” (vii).  Acknowledging that the act of martyrdom is generally accepted as following in the footsteps of Jesus, she notes that this sort of imitation has yet to be explored in depth, and undertakes to do so in this volume.

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An excerpt from:

The Other Christs:
Imitating Jesus in Ancient Christian Ideologies of Martyrdom
.
Candida Moss.
Hardback: Oxford UP, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Watch for our review next week!

 

THE VIOLENCE OF LOVE - Oscar RomeroAs mentioned above, this week saw the 30th anniversary of Oscar Romero’s assassination in El Salvador.

Given the occasion of this anniversary, we’d like to point you to our friends at (the sadly defunct) Plough Press, who have made Oscar Romero’s book THE VIOLENCE OF LOVE freely available as a PDF ebook!

If you have not yet read this book, you need to!

[ Go to the Plough Press site and download this ebook ]

You may also want to browse the Plough site as they offer many other free ebooks in English and seven other languages.

 

“Following Jesus to the Cross”

A Review of
Two Recent Books
on Christian Martyrdom
.

 

By Chris Smith.

 

The Purple Crown: The Politics of Martyrdom.
Tripp York.

Paperback: Herald Press, 2007.
Buy now from:  [ Doulos Christou Books $15]   [ Amazon ]

 

To Share in the Body:
A Theology of Martyrdom for Today’s Church.
Craig Hovey.

Paperback: Brazos Press, 2008.
Buy now from:  [ Doulos Christou Books $18]   [ Amazon ]

 

 


Two recent books, The Purple Crown by Tripp York and To Share in the Body by Craig Hovey explore the question of what it means to be a martyr church in the present age.  Both authors work from the assumption that martyrdom is foreign to the Church in the United States, and indeed most of the Western world.  However, in exploring this question, York and Hovey take two different – and yet both helpful – approaches.  In To Share in the Body, Hovey works through the Gospel of Mark , forming a scriptural theology of martyrdom from the text of this Gospel.  York, on the other hand, works form the text of church history to develop a political understanding of Christian martyrdom.

                In To Share in the Body, Hovey works through the text of Mark, identifying six themes and images that are relevant to martyrdom.  The first of these images is baptism, the purpose of which, in Hovey’s words, is “to enact and declare membership with a martyr church” (23).  In baptism, we identify with the death and resurrection of Jesus (Romans 6).  Hovey keenly notes that just as the work of baptism is a divine one, so also the work of martyrdom is not primarily that of human will or action (33).  Hovey pointedly concludes this chapter: “The church’s failure to be a martyr-church is supremely seen in those cultures that continue to baptize the young for sentimentality’s sake.  For many, baptism involves neither incorporation into the life of the community of faith nor incorporation into the death and resurrection of Christ.  It is not a drowning in the surging waters, a participation in the suffering of Christ, a commitment to undergo the discipline of the church relative to its new life and mission made possible by Christ’s resurrection” (40).

 

 

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