Ancient Christian martyrdom : diverse practices, theologies, and traditions /
Candida R. Moss.
New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, c2012.
xiv, 256 p. ; 25 cm.
0300154658 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780300154658 (cloth : alk. paper)
More Details
New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, c2012.
0300154658 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780300154658 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Cultural contexts : the good death and the self-conscious sufferer -- Asia Minor : imitating Christ -- Rome : contesting philosophy -- Gaul : the victors of Vienne and Lyons -- Roman North Africa : apocalyptic ascent -- Alexandria : Clement and the true martyr.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 205-230) and indexes.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2012-11-01:
Moss (Univ. of Notre Dame) reviews martyrdom, which has elicited a cottage industry of research, given contemporary martyrs and suicide bombings. She directs her attention to ancient Christianity. Herein, the practice of ancient Christian martyrdom evolves within diverse perspectives and understandings that flourished while individuals willingly died for Christ. Most illuminating is Moss's geographic examination of martyrdom in early Christian communities in Asia Minor, Rome, Gaul, Roman North Africa, and Alexandria. To provide context, she reviews pre-Christian martyrdom in a chapter titled "Cultural Contexts: The Good Death and the Self-Conscious Sufferer"--in Socrates and the deaths of the Maccabees. Moss takes issue with the predominant idea that the word "martyr" means an executed Christian "irrevocably fixed by the Martyrdom of Polycarp" in the mid-second-century of the Common Era. The problem, she believes, is marrying "the idea of martyrdom . . . with a specific linguistic term," when, for example, the ancient Greeks valued the good or noble death for a hero or in manly displays of personhood. Moss's research compares favorably with Gail Streete's Redeemed Bodies (CH, Jan'10, 47-2516); however, she could also have considered Vasiliki Limberis's Architects of Piety (CH, Aug'11, 48-6847). Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above. G. M. Smith Delaware County Community College
Review Quotes
"Intriguing, fresh, and thought-provoking"--Diane Fruchtman, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"Intriguing, fresh, and thought-provoking"-Diane Fruchtman, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Main Description
The importance of martyrdom for the spread of Christianity in the first centuries of the Common Era is a question of enduring interest. In this innovative new study, Candida Moss offers a radically new history of martyrdom in the first and second centuries that challenges traditional understandings of the spread of Christianity and rethinks the nature of Christian martyrdom itself. Martyrdom, Moss shows, was not a single idea, theology, or practice: there were diverse perspectives and understandings of what it meant to die for Christ. Beginning with an overview of ancient Greek, Roman, and Jewish ideas about death, Moss demonstrates that there were many cultural contexts within which early Christian views of martyrdom were very much at home. She then shows how distinctive and diverging theologies of martyrdom emerged in different ancient congregations. In the process she reexamines the authenticity of early Christian stories about martyrs and calls into question the dominant scholarly narrative about the spread of martyrdom in the ancient world.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Beginning with an overview of ancient Greek, Roman, and Jewish ideas about death, Moss demonstrates that there were many cultural contexts within which early Christian views of martyrdom were very much at home.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
List of Abbreviationsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Cultural Contexts: The Good Death and the Self-Conscious Suffererp. 23
Asia Minor: Imitating Christp. 49
Rome: Contesting Philosophyp. 77
Gaul: The Victors of Vienne and Lyonsp. 100
Roman North Africa: Apocalyptic Ascentp. 122
Alexandria: Clement and the True Martyrp. 145
Conclusionp. 163
Notesp. 169
Bibliographyp. 205
General Indexp. 231
Index of Modern Authorsp. 241
Index of Ancient Sourcesp. 248
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem