Martyrdom and Terrorism Pre-Modern to Contemporary Perspectives

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-06-02
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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In recent years, terrorism has become closely associated with martyrdom in the minds of many terrorists and in the view of nations around the world. In Islam, martyrdom is mostly conceived as "bearing witness" to faith and God. Martyrdom is also central to the Christian tradition, not only in the form of Christ's Passion or saints faced with persecution and death, but in the duty to lead a good and charitable life. In both religions, the association of religious martyrdom with political terror has a long and difficult history. The essays of this volume illuminate this history--following, for example, Christian martyrdom from its origins in the Roman world, to the experience of the deaths of "terrorist" leaders of the French Revolution, to parallels in the contemporary world--and explore historical parallels among Islamic, Christian, and secular traditions. Featuring essays from eminent scholars in a wide range of disciplines, Martyrdom and Terrorism provides a timely comparative history of the practices and discourses of terrorism and martyrdom from antiquity to the twenty-first century.

Author Biography

Dominic Janes is Senior Lecturer in History of Art and Culture at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Alex Houen is Senior University Lecturer in Modern Literature in the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, and Fellow of Pembroke College.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Part I: Martyrdom and Pre-Modern Violence
1. Kate Cooper, Martyrdom, Memory, and the "Media Event": Visionary Writing and Christian Apology in Second-Century Christianity
2. Asma Afsaruddin, Martyrdom in Islamic Thought and Praxis: A Historical Survey
3. Susannah Monta, Rendering unto Caesar: The Rhetorics of Divided Loyalties in Tudor England
4. Gary Waller, Kristeva's "New Knowledge": Terrorism, Martyrdom, and Psychoanalytic Humanism: Insights from Two Early Modern Instances.

Part II: The French Revolution and the Invention of Terrorism
5. Julia V. Douthwaite, Martyrdom, Terrorism, and the Rhetoric of Sacrifice: The cases of Marat, Robespierre, and Loiserolles
6. David Andress, The Sentimental Construction of Martyrdom as Motivation in the Thought of Robespierre, 1789-1792
7. Ronald Schechter, Terror, Vengeance and Martyrdom in the French Revolution: The Case of the Shades
8. Dominic Janes, John Foxe and British Attitudes to Martyrdom after the French Revolution

Part III: Martyrdom, Terrorism and the Modern West
9. Guy Beiner, Fenianism and the Martyrdom-Terrorism Nexus in Ireland before Independence
10. Akil N. Awan, Spurning "this Worldly Life": Terrorism and Martyrdom in Contemporary Britain
11. Alex Houen, Martyrdom and Hostage Executions in the Iraq War: The Cases of Kenneth Bigley and Margaret Hassan
12. Jolyon Mitchell, Filming the Ends of Martyrdom

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