×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Martyrdom: A Very Short Introduction
  • Alternative view 1 of Martyrdom: A Very Short Introduction
  • Alternative view 2 of Martyrdom: A Very Short Introduction
     

Martyrdom: A Very Short Introduction

5.0 1
by Jolyon Mitchell
 

See All Formats & Editions

One person's "martyr" is another person's "terrorist," and one person's "martyrdom operation" is another's "suicide bombing." Suicide attacks around the world have raised many troubling questions about martyrdom. What is martyrdom? Why are some people drawn towards giving up their lives as martyrs? What place does religion

Overview

One person's "martyr" is another person's "terrorist," and one person's "martyrdom operation" is another's "suicide bombing." Suicide attacks around the world have raised many troubling questions about martyrdom. What is martyrdom? Why are some people drawn towards giving up their lives as martyrs? What place does religion play in inciting and creating martyrs? How are martyrs made? In order to answer such questions and to understand the contemporary debates about martyrdom, this Very Short Introduction considers martyrdom's diverse roots. Jolyon Mitchell looks at examples from a wide range of historical, religious and cultural contexts, including a mother's martyrdom in a Roman arena, the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the burning at the stake of a young Joan of Arc, the execution of a novelist in nineteenth-century Asia, and, more recently, many self-inflicted deaths in the Middle East and beyond. This wide range of examples helps to illustrate how the term martyrdom has developed and is still used differently in various contexts around the world. Each chapter draws on visual images to illustrate the topic of martyrdom.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199585236
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
01/06/2013
Series:
Very Short Introductions Series
Pages:
168
Sales rank:
1,398,578
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.40(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Jolyon Mitchell is Director of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues at the University of Edinburgh. A former BBC journalist, he is author or editor of many books, articles and essays, including Media Violence and Christian Ethics, Promoting Peace, Inciting Violence, and Religion and the News.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Martyrdom: A Very Short Introduction 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Tunguz More than 1 year ago
Giving up one’s life or accepting death for the sake of firmly held beliefs and convictions has a long and, mostly, noble history. It seems to have figured in various cultures and religions. Most of these acts have been recognized or treated as instances of martyrdom. This term etymologically means bearing of a witness, but has come to signify the witness of the ultimate kind – willingness to die for a cause or an ideal.  Most of us in the West consider martyrdom to be a quaint and ancient practice, out of place in the modern society, and reserved for fanatics. However, many acts of so-called martyrdom exist even today, and they highlight some of the difficulties of defining this term more precisely. Over the centuries there have been many debates and strong disagreements over what is a “true” martyrdom, and whether or not it can be used as a justification for a particular set of political and social actions and demands.  This very short introduction to martyrdom aims to give a fairly comprehensive historical account of this practice. The author draws on classical, Christian, Islamic, and many secular acts that have come to be considered martyrdoms. The book covers some of the contemporary, as well as modern, attitudes towards those acts and shows how they contributed to various social, political and religious movements. The book is scholarly and very informative, but it still manages to be accessible to a broader audience.  One question that I feel this book doesn’t answer adequately is WHY is martyrdom an effective political and social tool for overcoming the entrenched power relations. I would like to understand better the psychological and sociological forces that are at play which can make martyrdom into something much more useful and impactful than a seemingly meaningless waste of a human life.