Article

Sacrificing the Family: Christian Martyrs and their Kin

  • Keith Bradley

Abstract

Sporadic evidence of the impact of the rise of Christianity on traditional family relationships in the Roman world is detectable in the Acts of the Christian Martyrs. The evidence is examined in this essay, which concludes that Christianity required of those prepared to die for their beliefs a willing­ness to abandon family obligations and to embrace spiritual bonds of a new kind that threatened to subvert conventional family structures, as individualistic concerns gradually came to predominate over communal family ties.

Published
2004-12-01
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