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Divine Deliverance: Pain and Painlessness in Early Christian Martyr Texts Hardcover – November 22, 2016
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“In this careful and convincing reading of early Christian martyr texts, Cobb skillfully argues against the prevailing view that Christian identity is not to be found primarily in the embrace of suffering and valorization of pain. Instead, in graphic descriptions of torture, the martyrs’ insensibility to pain rather than their resistance to it invites a far more theological interpretation of these texts than is generally found, not least the central, but hitherto overlooked, presence of God. Cobb’s rejection of pain as a locus of interpretative significance challenges the mainstream reading of early Christian martyrdom. Therefore, Divine Deliverance is a significant and dramatic intervention in the study of early Christianity.”— Paul Middleton, University of Chester
“With this absorbing analysis of martyrdom literature, Cobb challenges us to see how the facet of ‘painlessness’ creates a vision of religious identity beyond mere symbols of faith. Provocative and precise, this study is well argued, clearly written, and conceptually sound! I recommend it to all students of early Christian literature.”—Clayton N. Jefford, Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology
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