n International Journal for Religious Freedom - Martyrdom - A very short introduction, Jolyon Mitchell : book review




Jolyon Mitchell's addition to the Very Short Introductions series is a surprisingly comprehensive primer to the topic of martyrdom. The perspective that Mitchell takes, as is common these days, is not specific to one religious tradition. Rather, he traces the phenomena of martyrdom in different faiths and across history. Mitchell's stated goal is not to provide a particular theology or philosophy of martyrdom, but rather to 'draw on a wide range of examples to raise questions about martyrdom and to illuminate the different origins, kinds and uses of martyrdom' (p. 4). Mitchell certainly fulfills that aim, but this means that his book is largely descriptive on the one hand, and teasingly provocative on the other without ever really resolving anything.


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