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About This Book
Martyrs create space and time through the actions they take, the fate they suffer, the stories they prompt, the cultural narratives against which they take place and the retelling of their tales in different places and contexts. The title "Desiring Martyrs" is meant in two senses. First, it refers to protagonists and antagonists of the martyrdom narratives who as literary characters seek martyrs and the way they inscribe certain kinds of cultural and social desire. Second, it describes the later celebration of martyrs via narrative, martyrdom acts, monuments, inscriptions, martyria, liturgical commemoration, pilgrimage, etc. Here there is a cultural desire to tell or remember a particular kind of story about the past that serves particular communal interests and goals. By applying the spatial turn to these ancient texts the volume seeks to advance a still nascent social geographical understanding of emergent Christian and Jewish martyrdom. It explores how martyr narratives engage pre-existing time-space configurations to result in new appropriations of earlier traditions.