The Family Romance of Martyrdom in Second Maccabees: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Family Romance of Martyrdom in Second Maccabees

1st Edition

By Naomi Janowitz

Routledge

102 pages

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Description

Centering on the first extant martyr story (2 Maccabees 7), this study explores the "autonomous value" of martyrdom. The story of a mother and her seven sons who die under the torture of the Greek king Antiochus displaces the long-problematic Temple sacrificial cult with new cultic practices, and presents a new family romance that encodes unconscious fantasies of child-bearing fathers and eternal mergers with mothers. This study places the martyr story in the historical context of the Hasmonean struggle for legitimacy in the face of Jewish civil wars, and uses psychoanalytic theories to analyze the unconscious meaning of the martyr-family story.

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Terminology of Martyrdom

The Ancient Theologies of Martyrdom

1: The Psychoanalytic Study of Martyrdom

The Psychoanalytic Analysis of Political Power

The Specific Family Romance of Second Maccabees

2: The Family Romance as Victory Story

Second Maccabees as Triumphalist History

Persecution as a Triumphalist Strategy

3: Theologies of Martyrdom Recast Authority and Cult

The Problem of Too Many Kings

Temple Cult in Second Maccabees: Hierarchies of Sacredness and Power

4: Rereading Sacrifice: Human Blood as a Sign

How Did Blood Become a Sign?

5: The Martyr’s New Sacrifice: Solving the Maccabean Sacrifice Crisis

Killing within the Family: Reworking Priestly Taboos

6: The Happy Ending of Two Wishes Fulfilled

Wish #1: Male Mothers and Child-bearing Fathers

Wish #2: The Family Reunites

Conclusions

Appendix 1: 2 Maccabees 7

Appendix 2: A Speculative Note on Displacing Women in Religious Myths and Rites

Bibliography

Index

About the Author

Naomi Janowitz is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California-Davis, USA.

About the Series

Routledge Focus on Biblical Studies

This new series, part of the Routledge Focus short-form programme, provides a venue for the most up-to-date research in the field of Biblical Studies across a wide range of topics, from focussed studies on specific texts, to works on topical issues.

For more information on the Routledge Focus programme, please visit out author information page: https://www.routledge.com/resources/authors/how-to-publish-with-us

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS002000
HISTORY / Ancient / General