In collaboration with Amsterdam University Press and the Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM), Spui 25 presents the book launch of 'Martyrdom: Canonisation, Contestation and Afterlives', edited bij AHM academic staff members Prof. Ihab Saloul and Prof. Jan Willem van Henten.
The phenomenon of martyrdom is more than 2000 years old but, as contemporary events show, still very much alive. During the launch of ‘Martyrdom’, the canonization, contestation and afterlives of martyrdom and their connection with cross-cultural acts and practices of remembrance will be examined via poetry and a panel discussion with various experts.
Martyrdom appeals to the imagination of many, because it is a highly ambiguous spectacle with thrilling deadly consequences. Imagination is thus a vital catalyst for martyrdom, for martyrs become martyrs only because others remember and honor them as such. This memorialization occurs through rituals and documents that incorporate and re-interpret traditions deriving from canonical texts. By adopting an interdisciplinary orientation and a cross-cultural approach, the new book Martyrdom goes beyond both the insider admiration of martyrs and the partisan rejection of martyrdoms and concisely synthesizes key interpretive questions and themes that broach the canonized, unstable and contested representations of martyrdom as well as their analytical connections, divergences and afterlives in the present.