By D. Joslyn-Siemiatkoski
This ebook examines texts and fabrics, starting from the jap Mediterranean to northwestern Europe, relating to the Maccabean martyrs. Joslyn-Siemiatkoski demonstrates that Christian thinkers developed stories of the Maccabean martyrs that concurrently appropriated Jewish traditions and obscured the Jewish origins of Christianity.
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Additional info for Christian Memories of the Maccabean Martyrs
Policing Communal Boundaries with the Law of the Maccabean Martyrs John Chrysostom and Augustine of Hippo, both late antique bishops, constructed memories of the Maccabean martyrs in sermons delivered on their feast day of August 1. Chrysostom and Augustine alike used a supersessionist interpretation of the value of the Maccabean martyrs’ death for the Law in order to establish a clear Catholic Christian identity against rival groups whose practice might draw in members of each bishop’s community.
Though Ambrose admitted to the fact that these martyrs died for the Mosaic dietary laws, he elided most elements of a distinctly Jewish identity. 31 The significance of the death of the Maccabean martyrs rested not in a national redemption, but as a type for the death of Christ and the transition from the limitations of the Law to the freedom of Christ by grace, which Ambrose had presented in book 1. An example of this process of erasing the Jewish identity of the Maccabean martyrs can be found when Ambrose offered a typological interpretation of the scalping of the second son.
26 While such a statement could be understood symbolically in terms of the baptism that the competentes would soon receive, Ambrose made it clear that to belong to the family of Christ as a joint heir meant explicitly to endure the sufferings of this world. “But even if any severities threaten us, they ought not at all to separate us from Christ. 28 By the example of these martyrs Ambrose meant to reinforce his audience’s commitment to Catholic Christianity over the state-endorsed Arian party.
Christian Memories of the Maccabean Martyrs by D. Joslyn-Siemiatkoski