Christian Tradition, Spring 2016 Study Guide

Day 5: Martyrdom and Persecution Day 1

Important figures & terms:


For the quiz be able to place Ignatius, Nero, Pliny on a map.

Key themes and concepts:
martyrdom and persecution


Discussion questions (which we will discuss in class Tuesday):
Aside from recording the acts of people whom later Christians deem heroic, what do you think are the main purposes of the martyr texts?





How do the texts represent the three major religious groups:  the Christian martyrs, the Jews, and the pagans?






What makes the martyr holy, sacred, and authoritative?




How does Ignatius use death as a way to rally and unify Christians?  How do the other martyr texts?  Is martyrdom one of Christianity’s “selling-points”?




What concerns or difficulties do the female martyrs have that seem particular to women?  Experiences that the men don’t have?  How do they deal with these experiences? 




What do the texts specifically say about martyrs’ bodies and the importance of their bodies before, during, and after their deaths?




You are welcome to bring any other questions/discussion topics to class as well.