By D. Joslyn-Siemiatkoski
This ebook examines texts and fabrics, starting from the japanese Mediterranean to northwestern Europe, relating to the Maccabean martyrs. Joslyn-Siemiatkoski demonstrates that Christian thinkers built thoughts of the Maccabean martyrs that at the same time appropriated Jewish traditions and obscured the Jewish origins of Christianity.
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Additional resources for Christian Memories of the Maccabean Martyrs
As part of marginalizing and defining Jews in stereotyped ways, Christian writers and leaders refined a discourse in which Jews were denied possession of their Scriptures and their self-identifying markers such as Israel. 5 The focus of anti-Jewish stereotyping by these bishops was to ensure that a range of groups, including but not limited to Jews, did not undermine Christian aspirations to religious and cultural power and influence. The construction of Christian memories of the Maccabean martyrs to further these aspirations meant that Arians, Donatists, Manicheans, and pagans also had to be rendered outside of the Catholic Christian narrative in which the Jews had already been placed.
Rather they negotiated their messages about the Maccabean martyrs as markers of a distinctive Christian identity with other Christians. For Chrysostom this negotiation occurred with members of his congregation; Augustine engaged in rhetorical polemics with Donatists. Each author sought to undo efforts to synthesize elements of Jewish identity and practice linked to questions about the status of the Mosaic Law that did not conform to their own supersessionist theology and vision of Catholic Christianity.
Soon after the conflict over the Portian Basilica had been resolved, Ambrose initiated the invention of the remains of the martyrs Gervasius and Protasius and the translation of these new relics to another basilica built by Ambrose in Milan. 19 The invocation of the example of the Maccabean martyrs as Ambrose constructed them in On Jacob reflected the same logic by which he promoted the cult of Gervasius and Protasius. His construction of the memory of the Maccabean martyrs affirmed the validity of his actions and reinforced the appeal of Catholic Christianity against the Arian version supported by the emperor.