Martyrdom and Terrorism: Pre-Modern to Contemporary Perspectives

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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. Islam contains manifold concepts of martyrdom, some of which link ''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 legacy. The essays of this volume illuminate these legacies-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 in Islamic, Christian, and secular traditions. Featuring essays from eminent scholars in a wide range of disciplines, Martyrdom and Terorrism provides a timely comparative history of the practices and discourses of terrorism and martyrdom from antiquity to the twenty-first century.