Essay by eurobenz867College, Undergraduate April 2007

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The theme of the lecture was Christian Martyrdom. The two guest speakers were Lawrence Cunningham and Joyce Salisbury. Cunningham is the Professor of Theology and a former chair at the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. Salisbury is a PhD Professor at University of Wisconsin Green Bay. She focuses on woman's body and torturing. In early Christian century before 250, Christian died in arena and got martyr. Question that she asked was "how do you make people stop doing what they are doing?" Roman tortured both the men and women. The Roman government considered the martyrdom of women an opportunity to make a public display of the Christian faith. Expecting Christian women to react in terror and weakness when faced with painful deaths, the Roman government determined that the martyrdom of women would prove that any faith and given freedom with men before a deity is a weak, and foolish.

Such women as Perpetua and many others shocked the Empire with their refusal to deny their beliefs. Their loyalty was to God alone, and for Him, they sacrificed their roles in the world as mothers, wives, and daughters. No fate however terrible shook these women from their convictions and obedience to the truth, and for their firm belief for which they would give their lives, these women gained the respect of the Church world. The Female martyrs were very strong and proved the Romans wrong by standing up against brutal and extreme physical and mental torture.

Next in the lecture were the Gnostics. Gnosticism was an extreme form of religion whose beginnings was not known to join the Christianity era. Gnostics believed God was not of this earth; a supernatural being made of matter. In Gnosticism, Christ is not a blood sacrifice figure who has to...