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Witness of the Body
The Past, Present, and Future of Christian Martyrdom
PAPERBACK; Published: 4/12/2011
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6258-7
238 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6x9
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Series: Eerdmans Ekklesia Series (EES)

In an age of suicide bombers and paranoid political rhetoric, the concept of martyrdom can make ordinary Christians uncomfortable, filled at once with fascination and dread. Christian martyrdom may seem like something far removed from common experience -- something only from long ago (in gruesome stories of ancient saints and Roman lions) or far away (in troubled Africa or Central Asia or the war-torn Middle East). In this volume, however, twelve scholars from across academic disciplines demystify Christian martyrdom and resituate it within the everyday practices of the church.

Beginning with the persecution of early Christians by the Roman Empire, Witness of the Body explores the place of martyrdom in the church through all ages and into the future. Combining expert historical studies with clear-headed analysis, these chapters will help Christians better understand Christian martyrdom not as a quick ticket to heaven or a cheap political ploy -- not as something mystically distant from everyday life -- but, rather, as the firm and faithful witness of Christ's church in a hostile world.

Read an excerpt from the book on EerdWord.

Contributors
  • Ann W. Astell
  • Michael L. Budde
  • William T. Cavanaugh
  • Lawrence Cunningham
  • Stephen Fowl
  • Brad S. Gregory
  • Eric O. Hanson
  • Geoffrey Holdsclaw
  • Emmanuel M. Katongole
  • D. Stephen Long
  • Joyce E. Salisbury
  • Tripp York
REVIEWS
Ecclesiology
"This is an interested and valuable collection of writing on martyrdom. The historical chapters are very good, as is the biblical material. . . . Provides moving accounts of modern martyrs who have stood with the poor, resisted tyranny and promoted justice, even at the cost of their lives."
Journal of Church and State
"A timely volume not only in that the authors defend Christian martyrdom from the main charges against it by clearing it from association with the most appalling acts of religious violence but also in that martyrdom is a underdeveloped theme in the life of the church and the lives of the ordinary Christian that constitute it. . . . This is a most stimulating collection and is the best kind of scholarship-that which serves the church."

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