Contemplating the Complexities of Christian Martyrdom
An Interview with Dr. Deborah N. Saxon
Dr. Deborah Niederer Saxon
Martyrdom in antiquity was often a painful choice. The dual powers of religion and politics made those decisions complex, but also caused a search for identity. Christians had to determine whether they would live under Roman systems, by Christian faithfulness, or by imagining a reward with Christ after martyrdom. Disagreements arose between advocates for martyrdom and those who opposed its glorification. Our modern reading of the ancient writings should take these differences into account.
Dr. Deborah Niederer Saxon teaches at Butler University and Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) in Indianapolis, and she is a minister in the Christian Church – Disciples of Christ. She is also the author of The Care of the Self in Early Christian Texts — which forms the basis for the discussion in this podcast interview. She is a member of the Westar Institute, working with the Christianity Seminars, and her special interest is in research of the newly discovered Christian texts, the inclusive perspectives women’s voices reveal, and the intersection of gender and religion.
You can visit LinkedIn profile and her bio page on the CTS website. Saxon has written for Early Christian Texts and appears on several podcasts and discussions as well. Just search for her name to learn more.
Some Bible and Beyond podcast episodes are made available as video podcasts on our YouTube channel. This month’s episode can be found here.