Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/5/2013 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Stories of martyrdom were mostly make-believe, she argues

A historian claims that many stories about the persecution of early Christians were invented or exaggerated to further the religion. Candida Moss, a professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame maintains Christianity is so laden with such tales that it has given rise to a myth of persecution among modern believers. A Catholic, Moss expects her claims to be the source of irritation to the faithful - but that they're missing the point.

Historian Candida Moss says that modern Christians to drop the victim complex inherited from them. 'Christians were never the victims of sustained, targeted persecution. The idea of the persecuted church is almost entirely the invention of the 4th century and later,' she adds.

Historian Candida Moss says that modern Christians to drop the victim complex inherited from them. "Christians were never the victims of sustained, targeted persecution. The idea of the persecuted church is almost entirely the invention of the 4th century and later," she adds.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/5/2013 (3 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Candida Moss, persecution, Christianity, persecution, martyrdom


LOS ANGEELS, CA (Catholic Online) - Moss, from South Bend, Indiana, claims only a handful of martyrdom stories ever actually occurred and there was no widespread Roman persecution. The stories were largely invented to inspire loyalty among the masses.

Moss says that modern Christians to drop the victim complex inherited from them. "Christians were never the victims of sustained, targeted persecution. The idea of the persecuted church is almost entirely the invention of the 4th century and later," she adds.

The author says the "Sunday school narrative of a church of martyrs" needs to be debunked as there is little historical evidence that it occurred. Many were killed, she argues, because they failed to follow Roman rules rather than the empire's fear of their religion.

"If persecution is to be defined as hostility toward a group because of its religious beliefs, then surely it is important that the Romans intended to target Christians," she writes. "Otherwise this is prosecution, not persecution."

She says this misunderstanding of when people are disagreeing and persecuting is clear among many modern Christians. She says that the rhetoric in debates on issues such as gay marriage and abortion often strays into the realms of Christians being persecuted when in fact it's a difference of opinion.

Citing modern examples, Moss discusses such issues as the perceived attack on Christmas. She also points to language used by politicians from Newt Gingrich to Mitt Romney.

Her views on the matter have unsurprisingly raised a few eyebrows and other academics and theologians have dismissed it is an attack. 

"To deny the history of the movement is a way of attacking the movement," Christian historian Rev. Robert Morgan told CNN.

"Christians do not have a victim's mentality. They take their stands, they know what they believe and they do good in this world. They are the ones who have established orphanages, hospitals and charitable institutions. For some reason, there's this animosity against them."

Moss says that she is being misunderstood. "I completely sympathize with [my critics'] concern that in writing a book like this maybe I will make people less interested in persecution that is happening around the world," she said.

"I do care. I think we should care about those who are oppressed. I don't think misusing the category here in America draws attention to persecution around the world. I think it cannibalizes those experiences. It steals their thunder."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Living Faith

'It is abuse of anti-conversion laws': 3 Christians arrested for converting Hindus Watch

Image of Three Christians are the latest victims in ongoing Indian persecution (dph).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Rev. V. A. Anthony, of Brethren Assembly Church in Satna, his wife Prabha and one unnamed woman have been arrested in Aber, India after being accused of "forced conversions" and blaspheming against Hinduism. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Christian ... continue reading


Like Bartimaeus, We Are Blind: Cry out to Jesus, Lord Help Me to See! Watch

Image of The healing of the Blind man

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The same Jesus who passed by Bartimaeus is alive today. The Good News is that no matter what has happened in our past, Jesus walks into the dusty streets of our lives this day. We simply need the eyes of living faith to see Him and the renewed heart to follow Him ... continue reading


:-D MILLENNIALS REJOICE! New emoji Bible translation is coming! Watch

Image of The Bible has been translated into a less-conventional, more approachable language: emoji (pix11/WPIX-TV).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In an attempt to make the Bible more interactive and entertaining to millennials, the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible has been translated with help from popular emoticons. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to The Memo, the new Bible, marked as ... continue reading


New study reveals Catholics hold highest retention rate - but no one is converting Watch

Image of Catholicism retains believers but is losing the conversion battle (Pinterest).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A new study revealed Welsh and English Catholics hold the highest retention rate of any denomination but maintain the lowest conversion rates. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The report, titled the "Contemporary Catholicism in England and Wales," was issued by the ... continue reading


'It's prayer that preserves faith': Pope Francis urges people to pray Watch

Image of Prayer is part of life and should be done more often (Prayer/Wikipedia).

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

For Pope Francis, prayer is neither a "magic wand" used to get what we want nor something casual we do only when we feel like it, but is rather the strength that sustains our faith in difficult moments. Vatican City, Rome (CNA/EWTN News) - "Jesus says that we need 'to ... continue reading


Benedict XVI to make public appearance? Watch

Image of Rumors of Benedict XVI making a public appearance have begun to circulate (Wordpress).

By Andrea Gagliarducci (CNA/EWTN News)

Former Pope Benedict XVI could appear in public once again on June 29, the 65th anniversary of his priestly ordination. Vatican City, Rome (CNA/EWTN News) - Speaking after the May 20 presentation of a book dedicated to Benedict XVI's pontificate, Archbishop Georg ... continue reading


Making a Difference: A Memorial Day reflection from America's late peace-priest Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

The best way to remember those who have been killed in battle is to work for the day when others will no longer be sent to take their place. Prayerfully reflecting on how to move away from war and war preparation should be central to every Memorial Day.Why do ... continue reading


Pope Francis on the Feast of the Holy Trinity Watch

Image of Pope Francis shares a message about the Holy Trinity (Pinterest).

By Ann Scneible (CNA/EWTN News)

The feast of the Holy Trinity is an invitation for us to commit to enriching our everyday relationships by promoting communion, consolation, and mercy, Pope Francis said during his weekly Sunday Angelus address. Vatican City, Rome (CNA/EWTN News) - "Our being created ... continue reading


Catholic Moral Teaching: Freedom, Choice and Truth Watch

Image of Our Moral Life in Christ.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

What we choose determines who we become. Choosing what is good changes the chooser, empowering him or her to proceed along the pathways of virtue and develop the habitus - or habits- which promote Christian character. The Catechism of the Catholic Church ... continue reading


Vatican claims Third Secret of Fatima is fully revealed... But isn't that how coverups work? Watch

Image of Has the Third Secret been released in its entirety? The Vatican insists it has.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Ever since the reveal of the Third Secret of Fatima in 2000, several people have insisted there's more to the secret than what the public was told. These rumors have taken a life of their own, prompting the Holy See to speak out against them. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • St. Augustine of Canterbury: Saint of the Day for Friday, May 27, 2016
  • Daily Reading for Saturday, May 28th, 2016 HD Video
  • Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta HD Video
  • $3,600,000,000,000: the price to repair America
  • Daily Readings for Friday, May 27, 2016
  • :-D MILLENNIALS REJOICE! New emoji Bible translation is coming!
  • States revolt, 11 sue to block disruptive Obama restroom edict, ...

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 14:18-20
18 Melchizedek king of Salem brought bread and wine; he was a priest of ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 110:1, 2, 3, 4
1 [Of David Psalm] Yahweh declared to my Lord, 'Take your seat at my ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:11-17
11 But the crowds got to know and they went after him. He made them ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 11:23-26
23 For the tradition I received from the Lord and also handed on to you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 26th, 2016 Image

St. Philip Neri
May 26: If one had to choose one saint who showed the ... Read More