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Martyrdom and Memory: Early Christian Culture Making
Martyrs are produced, Elizabeth Castelli suggests, not by the lived experience of particular historical individuals but by the stories that are later told about them. And the formulaic character of stories about past suffering paradoxically serves specific theological, cultural, or political ends in the present. Martyrdom and Memory explores the central role of persecution ...more
Hardcover, 360 pages
Published October 15th 2004 by Columbia University Press
(first published September 24th 2004)
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Dec 11, 2013 Amy Brown rated it really liked it
Castelli's analysis of the cultural and theological making of the memory of martyrdom is an example of careful scholarship that expands into a surprisingly relevant consideration of the contemporary American Protestant Evangelical discourse on martyrdom. The construction of a system of meaning around martyrdom in early Christianity will insert itself into the daily lives of Christians who lauded the stories and carried around the ampullae that likely had Daniel and Thecla portrayed as being thro ...more
I mostly focus on the Hebrew Bible, so this book was a bit out of my comfort zone, but it was totally worth the time and effort. Castelli explores the role that collective memory plays in the discourse surrounding Christian martyrs, focusing heavily on Thecla and Perpetua. She also includes a very interesting chapter on the cult of martyrs that sprung up after the shootings at Columbine High School. This book has so many great insights into the role discourse plays in how we shape and retell eve ...more