Through groundbreaking analysis of early Christian texts, Candida Moss reveals that the words, actions, and deaths of martyrs are modeled on those of Christ. Moss traces this imitation through the literature of the Jesus movement and early church, then examines interpretations of the martyr's death and afterlife. Arguing against the dominant theory that the martyr's death was seen as a sacrifice, Moss finds that beyond death martyrs continue to be assimilated to Christ as intercessors, judges, enthroned monarchs, and banqueters. Though characterization of the martyr as "another Christ" ultimately conflicted with theological commitments to Christ's uniqueness, Moss shows that, for a brief period, the martyr's imitation was viewed as sharing in the status of the exalted Christ.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc