Monday, 2 July 2018

Jan Bremmer gives a working paper on 'The Emergence of the Christian Martyr in the second and third centuries'

The traditional studies on Greek and Roman religion concentrate on those aspects that are most closely related to familiar forms of Western religion, such as gods, clergy, sanctuaries, festivals, etc. They do not, as a rule, take into account the ‘embedded’ nature of ancient religion, which means that religion was part of all elements of society, from, say, archives and animals to education and family to widows and wilderness. Together with Georgia Petridou and Jörg Rüpke, we will therefore organise a new encyclopaedia presently called ‘Religion in Context’, which will try to close that gap. My contribution here is a preliminary study for the lemma ‘martyrs’, which will also take into account Jewish martyrs and Greek and Roman mythical and legendary figures who died to save their communities.

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