[PDF] The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom ☆ Candida Moss

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Brilliant and provocativeDrawing on close readings of traditional martyr stories and on deep historical research she convincingly demonstrates that little evidence exists for the widespread persecution of Christians by the Romans Publisher s Weekly Compellingly argued and artfully written Moss reveals how the popular misconception about martyrdom in the early church still creates real barriers to compassion and dialogue today An important book and a fascinating read Archbishop Desmond Tutu This is the best sort of history delightfully accessible yet based on prodigious scholarship deeply serious yet entertaining and enlightening Above all it shows the reader the importance of sweeping away myth in order that we do not behave badly in the present using the past as our excuse Diarmaid MacCulloch Professor of the History of the Church at Oxford University and author of Christianity the First Three Thousand Years A tour de force addition to the literature of sacred violence a case study in how bold scholarship can dismantle it Candida Mosss religious history will change religion and if Christians heed it history too James Carroll Author of Jerusalem Jerusalem Moss dismantles the wall of righteousness that some Christians erect in order to justify their conflict with others Without this persecution narrative we will be better euipped to work together in our complex and pluralistic world Sister Simone Campbell Executive Director of NETWORK This is a timely and ey.

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The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom

New generation of culture warriorsAccording to cherished church tradition and popular belief before the Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal in the fourth century early Christians were systematically persecuted by a brutal Roman Empire intent on their destruction As the story goes vast numbers of believers were thrown to the lions tortured or burned alive because they refused to renounce Christ These saints Christianity s inspirational heroes are still venerated todayMoss however exposes that the Age of Martyrs is a fictionthere was no sustained year long effort by the Romans to persecute Christians Instead these stories were pious exaggerations highly stylized rewritings of Jewish Greek and Roman noble death traditions and even forgeries designed to marginalize heretics inspire the faithful and fund churchesThe traditional story of persecution is still taught in Sunday school classes celebrated in sermons and employed by church leaders politicians and media pundits who insist that Christians wereand always will bepersecuted by a hostile secular world While violence against Christians does occur in select parts of the world today the rhetoric of persecution is both misleading and rooted in an inaccurate history of the early church Moss urges modern Christians to abandon the conspiratorial assumption that the world is out to get Christians and rather embrace the consolation moral instruction and spiritual guidance that these martyrdom stories provide.

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E opening book Moss carefully researched and readable account corrects and clarifies an important feature of a history that has been fictionalized for too long Harvey Cox Hollis Research Professor of Divinity at Harvard and author of The Future of Faith In engaging prose and with scholarly acumen Moss pulls back the curtain on one of Western historys best kept secrets that Christians were never subjects of sustained persecution Read this book and rejoice as Moss turns history on its head and points the way beyond religious violence Diana Butler Bass author of Christianity After Religion Not only has Candida Moss reminded us that much of what we accept uncritically is pious legend but that such myths poison the religious and political rhetoric of our time There is something here to offend everyone which is the first sign of groundbreaking work Rev Dr Robin R Meyers UCC Minister and author of The Underground Church Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus Historical argumentation at its most cogent Booklist FascinatingOne of the most enlightening aspects of The Myth of Persecution is Moss ability to find contemporary analogies that make the ancient worldintelligible to the average reader SalonIn The Myth of Persecution Candida Moss a leading expert on early Christianity reveals how the early church exaggerated invented and forged stories of Christian martyrs and how the dangerous legacy of a martyrdom complex is employed today to silence dissent and galvanize a.