Chapter

Life Centered Around the Martyrs

Vasiliki M. Limberis

in Architects of Piety

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199730889
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895229 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730889.003.0002
Life Centered Around the Martyrs

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This chapter presents an overview of the centrality of the cult of the martyrs in the Christianity of the Cappadocian Fathers. Regardless of social status, all Christians were enthusiastic for the frequent celebrations of the local martyrs, even after the Constantinian settlement. The chapter gives a detailed analysis of the ways in which the Cappadocian Fathers not only were personally devoted to the martyrs but also regularized the cults through close attention to the the panegyris, the festival for the martyr. Their writings reveal the rituals of the martyr panegyris and the laity’s behavior, expectations, and attitudes. The chapter examines how rudimentary the cult of the martyrs was for the Cappadocians as bishops: as organizational principle, as a dominant hermeneutic of Scripture, as promoter of doctrine, as catechetical example for liturgy. The chapter ends with the analysis of the most popular martyrs of Cappadocia and Pontus and their calendrical cycle.

Keywords: Cappadocia; Cappadocian Fathers; martyrs; cult of martyrs; panegyris; festival; saints; liturgical calendar; ritual; liturgy

Chapter.  21014 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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