The Savior Martyr

Candida R. Moss

in The Other Christs

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199739875
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199777259 | DOI:
The Savior Martyr

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This chapter examines the interpretation of the martyrs’ deaths in the early church and the significance of this kind of death both for the martyrs and for other Christians. It focuses on the presentation of martyrs as savior figures and the contribution this depiction makes for the history of soteriology. Against the dominant scholarly view, it argues that the martyr’s death was rarely viewed as a sacrifice for sin. Instead, it was interpreted differently in different accounts and regions. While allowing for the interweaving of various soteriological models, the chapter argues that martyrdom was viewed primarily as a victory over Satan in the apocalyptic cosmic battle and a moral example for imitation by the audiences of the account.

Keywords: martyr’s death; soteriology; sacrifice; sin; moral example; victory over Satan; cosmic battle

Chapter.  17641 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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