Cult of the Dead: A Brief History of Christianity (Hardcover)

Cult of the Dead: A Brief History of Christianity By Kyle Smith Cover Image
$34.95
On Our Shelves Now
Book Culture (112th St)
2 on hand, as of Dec 5 11:34am
(322)
Book Culture LIC
2 on hand, as of Dec 4 8:09pm
(178)
Book Culture on Broadway
2 on hand, as of Dec 5 12:20pm
(115)
Book Culture Pittsford
2 on hand, as of Dec 5 1:07pm
(322)

Description


A cultural history of how Christianity was born from its martyrs.
 
Though it promises eternal life, Christianity was forged in death. Christianity is built upon the legacies of the apostles and martyrs who chose to die rather than renounce the name of their lord. In this innovative cultural history, Kyle Smith shows how a devotion to death has shaped Christianity for two thousand years.
 
For centuries, Christians have cared for their saints, curating their deaths as examples of holiness. Martyrs’ stories, lurid legends of torture, have been told and retold, translated and rewritten. Martyrs’ bones are alive in the world, relics pulsing with wonder. Martyrs’ shrines are still visited by pilgrims, many in search of a miracle. Martyrs have even shaped the Christian conception of time, with each day of the year celebrating the death of a saint. From Roman antiquity to the present, by way of medieval England and the Protestant Reformation, Cult of the Dead tells the fascinating story of how the world’s most widespread religion is steeped in the memory of its martyrs.

About the Author


Kyle Smith is Associate Professor and Director of the History of Religions Program at the University of Toronto. An award-winning teacher, he is the author or coauthor of four other books about Christian saints and martyrs.

 

Praise For…


"Reading this book conveys the feeling of bouncing over bumps at high speed on a sunny day in an all-terrain sports utility vehicle. How can such lugubrious topics provide so much fun? The tale is animated by the telling. With sly wit, subtle humour, agile prose and empathetic imagination, Kyle Smith narrates the growth of one of Christianity’s defining traditions."
— Times Literary Supplement

"Cult of the Dead is the rare academic book that shows empathy; for the martyrs themselves and for those with devotion to them. . . . Smith does our dearly departed the ultimate favor: He allows the dead to speak once more."
— National Catholic Reporter

“For a topic that encompasses millennia of fascinating history, Smith’s digestible book offers a compelling and comprehensive introduction to the role of the lives and afterlives of Christianity’s martyrs in Western society from late antiquity to the present day.”
— New Criterion
Product Details
ISBN: 9780520345164
ISBN-10: 0520345169
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: November 8th, 2022
Pages: 384
Language: English