Martyrdom, Martyrs, Martyrologies
Juniata College Web Tour - Martyrdom - Martyrs - Martyrologies
This is the web version of our Library Treasure Room tour of martyrologies held in the Special Collections at Juniata College.
"Martyrology: ...a book containing a list of Christian martyrs and other saints in the order of their commemoration with some account of their lives and sufferings." The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition.
Whenever individuals or movements question or dissent from the power structures of their time - be it that of a state or an institutional church - the representatives of that power structure consider its own security and identity threatened. The response of such a power structure is always revealing: it usually takes the form of persecution, capture, incarceration, interrogation, torture and execution.
"One does not persecute something that does not scare, and it does not scare unless it has appeal," Episcopalian Bishop John Shelby Spong.
"The Anabaptist reform movement of the 16th century in Europe was a threat to society, Christendom, government, and the rising middle class. As a consequence, thousands of Anabaptists were burned to death, decapitated, drowned, tortured and martyred in other ways. Today they have been recognized as pioneers in pushing for the separation of church and state, advocates for freedom of religion, and voluntary church membership. Their idea of baptism on confession of faith has also been given new attention. " The Brethren Enclyclopedia.
"It is true that we are to suffer in the valley of shadows, even in the valley of death where many were killed in terrible ways - beheaded, drownded, strangled, burned, killed on the wheel, or by wild beast, half devoured, and brought to their end in other ways. Some went not only willingly, but with joy to their deaths." T.J. van Braght, author of the 1660, Dutch martyrology.
"This exhibit presents Christian martyrologies written by Dutch and English authors in the 16th and 17th centuries.”
Images of the Tour