Chapter

Religious Services for Byzantine Soldiers and the Possibility of Martyrdom, c. 400–c. 1000

Paul Stephenson

in Just Wars, Holy Wars, and Jihads

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199755042
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950508 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199755042.003.0001
Religious Services for Byzantine Soldiers and the Possibility of Martyrdom, c. 400–c. 1000

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This chapter argues that there was no unequivocal ancient Christian ban against the use of violence; that the rigorism of the Church fathers was not universal; and that from the essential messiness of early Christian thought on war emerged ideas that were adopted into early Islamic thought, notably the very idea of martyrdom in battle, as articulated in the reign of Heraclius (d. 641). The focus is on two episodes in the eighth and ninth centuries, where Byzantine thought was, in turn, influenced by Islamic doctrine and practice, notably the introduction of iconoclasm (from c. 730), the notion of martyrdom in battle (with examples from after 811), and the desire to emulate waqf foundations to support and finance campaigns (c. 895).

Keywords: violence; iconoclasm; Byzantine Empire; Heraclius; martyrdom

Chapter.  11976 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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