The Myth of Persecution
How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom
Central to the traditions of Christianity is the example of the early martyrs, crucified, burned and thrown to wild beasts because they refused to renounce their faith. Yet as this controversial study makes clear, the myth of persecution was greatly exaggerated. Drawing on both Christian and pagan sources, it shows that only during brief, widely separated intervals did believers suffer violence, and that for much of Roman history they prospered and even achieved high public office.
Modern Christianity to 1900
A People's History of Christianity: Vol 6
As new forms of industry transformed the lives of people around the world and as individualism, nationalism and scientific enterprise became more important, how did Christians come to terms with ever more rapid change? The three parts of this book address the question from different angles: first, the reconfiguration of ideas about death, sex and emotional life; then regional manifestations of faith in Brazil, Russia and New England; and finally the experience of slavery and the increasing visibility of women.