Les martyrs Maccabées: de l'histoire juive au culte chrétien: Les homélies de Grégoire de Nazianze et de Jean Chrysostome
Leiden: Brill, 2007 pp. x + 392. $188.00
Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae, 80
Description: The Maccabean Martyrs, Jewish heroes from the era of the persecution of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, were incorporated into the IVth century Christian martyrology. Two Church Fathers, Gregory Nazianzen and John Chrysostom wrote panegyrics in their honour, which are studied and translated in this book.
The first part shows how, since the beginning, the Church referred to these martyrs as biblical examples known through 2 and 4 Maccabees. The second part describes, through the eulogies of Gregory and John, the circumstances surrounding the creation of the Christian Feast. The third part analyzes the preaching built around the story of the Maccabean martyrs, where, following the 4 M model, Eleazar, the seven brothers and their mother are established as examples of virtue and asceticism for the edification of all Christians.
The book investigates an original aspect of the cult of martyrs : the christianisation of jewish martyrs killed defending the Law, and sheds light on the sometimes contradictory preaching choices of Gregory and John to respond to the jewish roots of this cult.
Subjects: Early Christian Literature, Literature
Review by Jan Willem van Henten
Citation: Jan Willem van Henten, review of Raphaëlle Ziadé, Les martyrs Maccabées: de l'histoire juive au culte chrétien: Les homélies de Grégoire de Nazianze et de Jean Chrysostome, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2008).
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