"Months of solitary confinement, years of periodic physical torture, constant suffering from hunger and cold, the anguish of brain-washing and mental cruelty these are the experiences of a Romanian pastor during his fourteen years in Communist prisons. His crime, like that of thousands of others, was his fervent belief in Jesus Christ and his public witness concerning his faith. Meeting in homes, in basements, and in woods sometimes daring to preach in public on street corners these faithful souls persisted in their Christian witness knowing full well the ultimate cost of their actions. This is their story a classic account of courage, tenacious faith, and unbelievable endurance. This history of the Underground Church reflects the continuing struggle in many parts of the world today"--Page 4 of cover.
This study concerns the earliest English literature encouraging women not to marry, the Katherine Group. It is a set of five early thirteenth-century devotional texts, a sermon called "Hali Meidhad" ("Holy Virginity"), the lives of three early Christian virgin martyrs, Katherine, Margaret, and Juliana, and an allegory "Sawles Warde" ("Care of the Soul"). All of the texts celebrate virginity, but they do so in a novel way. Unlike other virginity literature, which focuses on the sacred benefits that come to women who do not marry, these texts argue that marriage harms women, and they focus on the material advantages of not marrying. They are profoundly non-mystical, articulating the values of self-sufficiency and self determination. Placing the Katherine Group within the male clerical tradition of Jerome and Peter Abelard, a tradition whose concerns about marriage and domesticity have not been much appreciated before, the author shows how the texts of the Katherine Group operate not as part of a female mystical tradition, but within the male clerical tradition of anti-matrimonial literature.
Why did medieval dramatists weave so many scenes of torture into their plays? Exploring the cultural connections among rhetoric, law, drama, literary creation, and violence, Jody Enders addresses an issue that has long troubled students of the Middle Ages. Theories of rhetoric and law of the time reveal, she points out, that the ideology of torture was a widely accepted means for exploiting such essential elements of the stage and stagecraft as dramatic verisimilitude, pity, fear, and catharsis to fabricate truth. Analyzing the consequences of torture for the history of aesthetics in general and of drama in particular, Enders shows that if the violence embedded in the history of rhetoric is acknowledged, we are better able to understand not only the enduring "theater of cruelty" identified by theorists from Isidore of Seville to Antonin Artaud, but also the continuing modern devotion to the spectacle of pain.
The study of religion encompasses ordinary human social practice and is not limited to the extraordinary or divine. 'Introducing Religion' brings together leading international scholars in the field of religious studies to examine religion as integral to everyday social practice. The book establishes a theoretical framework for the study of religion to analyse prayer, ritual, science, morality and politics in relation to the world's major religions. It will be of interest to students of theory and method in religious studies seeking a clear introduction to the multifaceted nature of religion.