Pathology, identity, or both? Making meaning from early Christian martyrdom

  title={Pathology, identity, or both? Making meaning from early Christian martyrdom},
  author={Matthew Recla},
  pages={75 - 89}
  • M. Recla
  • Published 21 September 2020
  • Sociology
  • Mortality
ABSTRACT Partly in response to an earlier ‘pathological approach’ that seemingly stigmatised early Christian martyrdom, recent scholarship has adopted an ‘identity approach’ that explains martyrdom as a normative discourse of self-construction. This explanation of martyrdom as Christian identity-making, not willing death, is insufficient for three reasons. First, this approach implicitly reaffirms the theological claim that religious identity alone makes martyrs. In doing so it reduces the… 


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