Martyrs and Their Books

Adrian Chastain Weimer

in Martyrs' Mirror

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199743117
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918744 | DOI:
Martyrs and Their Books

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Chapter 1 traces the paths through which martyrdom, apocalypticism, and holiness became intertwined from John Bale and John Foxe to Cotton Mather and the New England Primer. Biblical martyrs, early church martyrs, and especially the Protestants martyred in the 1550s under the Catholic Queen Mary—the Marian martyrs —became part of a shared historical imagination of the true church as the persecuted church. This demonstration of the diffuse and powerful significance of the martyrs in English culture lays the groundwork for the subsequent analysis of the historical imagination of martyrdom as it was fashioned and re-fashioned in specific situations in early New England. Narratives of martyrs and persecutors are pervasive in early modern English writings, as various groups competed to lay claim to the lineage of the true persecuted church.

Keywords: martyrdom; apocalypticism; holiness; John Bale; John Foxe; puritan; persecuted church; Queen Mary; separatist; ecclesiology; historical imagination; English Protestants

Chapter.  9449 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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