The Suffering Self: Pain and Narrative Representation in the Early Christian Era, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Suffering Self

Pain and Narrative Representation in the Early Christian Era, 1st Edition

By Judith Perkins


264 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415127066
pub: 1995-07-27
Hardback: 9780415113632
pub: 1995-07-27
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203210062
pub: 2002-09-11
from $23.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


The Suffering Self is a ground-breaking, interdisciplinary study of the spread of Christianity across the Roman empire. Judith Perkins shows how Christian narrative representation in the early empire worked to create a new kind of human self-understanding - the perception of the self as sufferer. Drawing on feminist and social theory, she addresses the question of why forms of suffering like martyrdom and self-mutilation were so important to early Christians.

This study crosses the boundaries between ancient history and the study of early Christianity, seeing Christian representation in the context of the Greco-Roman world. She draws parallels with suffering heroines in Greek novels and in martyr acts and examines representations in medical and philosophical texts.

Judith Perkins' controversial study is important reading for all those interested in ancient society, or in the history `f Christianity.


`Judith Perkins, is a classical scholar with a wide and imaginatve sympathy for the emotional and spiritual dilemmas of the ancient world in which Christianity was born.' - Church Times

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General