The Martyr as Divine Heir

Candida R. Moss

in The Other Christs

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

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This chapter examines the status of the martyrs after death in the heavenly hierarchy and the way that this status informs our understanding of the martyrs’ identity. Rather than focusing on the traditional terminology of theosis, it uses the language and imagery of the martyr acts to assess the relative status of the exalted martyr. It argues that the depiction of the martyrs as enthroned in heaven and their portrayal as sons of God and coheirs with Christ in conjunction with the unsettled issue of Christology yielded some ambiguity about the status of the martyrs in heaven. This ambiguity is preserved in the writing of some patristic authors, for whom this presented the dangerous possibility that martyrs were equal to Christ.

Keywords: status; heavenly hierarchy; theosis; sons of God; coheirs with Christ; enthronement

Chapter.  10910 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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